Councillors will be given the right to maternity leave for the first time under plans going to Cabinet this morning.
They will be able to select a substitute to do the job including casting votes for the duration of the maternity leave.
Alternatively they can opt to have an admin payment made to the period of the leave to do secretarial work.
The lack of proper maternity leave has often been cited as a barrier to women getting involved in local politics.
Junior Minister Peter Burke will bring the proposal to Cabinet intending to tell colleagues that unless someone can totally switch off from work, it isn’t proper leave.