Written Answers. - EU Directives.

Tuesday, 14 October 2003

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 572 No. 3

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535.

Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the EU directives relevant to her Department which are awaiting implementation; the nature of the directives; [862] when each was passed by the Council of Ministers; the date for implementation; if the Government sought a derogation; and if she will meet the deadline as required. [23351/03]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): Council Directive 2000/43/EC Race Directive was passed by the Council of Ministers on 29 June 2000 and has a transposition date of [863] 19 July 2003. Council Directive 2000/78/EC, Employment Directive, was passed by the Council of Ministers on 27 November 2000 and has a transposition date of 2 December 2003.

While my colleague, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, has overall responsibility for the transposition of these directives my Department is addressing the equality aspects of these directives in so far as they apply to occupational pension schemes.

The directives provide for a greater framework [864] for combating discrimination on such grounds as gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

The Pensions Act 1990, already prohibits discrimination between men and women and I am not aware of any evidence of discrimination in Irish occupational pension schemes on any of the grounds covered in the directives.

The drafting of the necessary legislation on occupational pensions is currently being progressed in consultation with the Pensions Board with a view to enactment in early 2004.


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