Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Domestically Dependable...what?

Quietly and without much fanfare the Government have amended the Parental Leave Act to allow those in domestically dependable relationships to be able to take Force Majeur Leave. The sexual orientation of those relationships will be immaterial.

Minister Frank Fahey introduced the amendment during a committee meeting of the Select Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights last week. The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network have a press release welcoming the changes and also have a copy of the Minister’s speech on the matter here.

He specifically refers to the disadvantages faced by same sex couples and how this amendment will respond to demands made in various agreements/documents including Partnership.  This had long been an area of concern for those in the Trade Union movement and had been raised at a seminar I attended last year held by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.  One can only wonder at the shenanigans then went on in the Department of Justice that led to the phrase Domestically Dependable being used. Will it be used again in other legislation?

I can see it now…

‘Do you Mary take Sally to be domestically dependable on you, in sickness and in health and when the force majeur be upon you?’

I think the wording is rather silly and maybe Paddy Power will let me have a bet on the gender of the parliamentary draftsman…. Patriarchy is alive and well in St. Stephens Green!



At 18:27, Blogger Simon said...

I think it is quiet a good catch all phrase. Can you come up with anything better

At 01:22, Blogger Suzy said...

I can't think of anything better at the moment Simon, but I think the connotations of dependence and lack of recognition of commitment are what irk me in the wording. Law is not pretty though and I do realise that. I look forwardto how people are going to be supported in outlining the relationships to which they wish to apply FM and the training and policies that employers will have to engage! There is another blog post altogether in the way in which the government will jump through hoops to bring in piece meal changes rather than a civil partnership act.

At 12:42, Anonymous morgan said...

Here in Aus, the phrase "interdependent relationship" is used. It's a bit of a cop out, though, because a de facto relationship (heterosexual common law relationship) and de jure relationship (marriage) seem both to gain better legal protection and support.

At 21:31, Blogger Simon said...

actually any chance you could add this to irish election site or a simular kind of post?

At 22:27, Blogger Suzy said...



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