Will Paid Parental Leave be Introduced?

The Government Budget 2019 is expected to introduce two weeks’ paid parental leave. The introduction of the paid leave will mean mothers and fathers will have two weeks’ paid parental leave to take within 12 months of the birth of the child.

Similar to maternity and paternity leave there will be no obligation for employers to pay employees for the two weeks’ parental leave. Payment will be made by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provided the employee has the right PRSI contributions.

It is not known exactly when the paid leave will be introduced, however, it is likely to be late 2019.

Full details of the new scheme have not yet been finalised. At present, parents are entitled to eighteen weeks’ parental leave.

The current leave is unpaid leave and must be taken before the child is eight years old, within two years of adoption or before the child is sixteen where the child has a disability. There is also a service requirement on the leave, employees must have one year’s continuous service to take parental leave.

In circumstances where the child is about to go above the age threshold and the employee has three months’ continuous service, the employee can take one-week parental leave per month of service.

It is unclear whether the two weeks paid leave will be in addition to the current eighteen weeks’ unpaid leave or included in the current entitlement. Further information on paid parental leave will follow once the budget is announced.

If you have any questions in relation to Parental Leave, please contact our advice line on 1890 253 369

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