It has been announced that the Government plan to implement two weeks paid parental leave in this year’s budget and will aim to increase it every year for the next few years.
Currently, in Ireland, parental leave is governed by the Parental Leave Act 1998 – 2006 and the EU (Parental Leave) Regulations 2013. A natural or adoptive parent is entitled to 18 week’s unpaid parental leave for each child.
The 18 weeks leave must be taken before the child’s eighth birthday. There are however some exemptions to this rule:
1) Where the child is adopted between the age of 6 to 8, the leave must be taken within two years of the adoption and 2) where the child has a disability or long-term illness, the leave must be taken before the child is sixteen years old.
In order to take the leave, the employee must have one years’ continuous service with their employer. Where an employee has less than one years’ service and the child is soon approaching the age threshold, the employee is entitled to take one weeks’ leave per month of service provided they have three months’ consecutive service.
At present parents are not entitled to payment for any of the 18 weeks’ leave by either their employer or the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Ireland is one of only six EU countries where employers are not obliged to pay workers if they take parental leave. The Minister has agreed to look at implementing some paid parental leave in the next budget and will consider increasing the age by which the leave needs to be taken.
We will ensure to update you once further information is shared regarding paid parental leave.
If you have any questions regarding parental leave or any other protected leave, please contact the advice line on 1890 253 369