The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019, is coming into force on 1st September 2019, which provides an increase in the period of Parental Leave entitlement for employees, as well as changes to the age limits of eligibility.
Parental Leave is unpaid leave which each parent is entitled to take for the purpose of allowing them to take care of their young children.
The entitlement to this leave arises after an employee has accrued one year’s continuous service or on a pro rata basis if they have accrued more than three months but less than one years’ service.
Extension of Leave
Until now each parent was entitled to 18 weeks Parental Leave per child, born or adopted, however, the new regulations have increased this entitlement for each parent to 22 weeks Parental Leave.
Further to above change, as of 1st September 2020, parents will be entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks of Parental Leave.
Parents will be limited to a maximum of 22 weeks per year where they have more than one child with the exception of twins or triplets.
This leave can be taken as one continuous block or may be broken up into a minimum of 6-week blocks or shorter periods only if agreed with the employer, and leave cannot be shared between parents unless they are both employed by the same employer.
Age of Child
The new regulations also change the age of the child in respect of which the leave can be taken.
The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 introduces the extension of child’s age. From 1st September 2019, parents will be able to take parental leave in respect of a child until his/her 12th birthday. There is no change for the child with a disability or a long-term illness, which continues to be 16 years of age.
Any parents who have already availed of their entitlement to Parental Leave or part thereof, will still be entitled to the extra weeks of parental leave, provided that their child is still eligible.
Paid Parental Leave
Subject to the legislation which is expected to be enacted on the 1st November 2019, a new Governments Parental Leave Scheme is set to be introduced. This scheme will provide that both parents will have access to two weeks paid parental leave each, which will be paid by the state at the same rate as Maternity Benefit and Paternity Benefit.
The leave can be taken within 52 weeks of the birth of the child or in the case of an adoption, from the date of placement of the child.
This update is provided by the MSS HR Support Service.
Further details on the update or about our services may be obtained from:
John Barry/Tara Daly/Hugh Hegarty at Tel: 01 8870690