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Oct 13

Posted by
Gerri McGinley

Parental Leave – A Recap

The Parental Leave Acts of 1998 to 2006 provides an entitlement to parents with young children up to 14 weeks unpaid leave if it is required to take care of their child.  Since 8th March 2013 this has changed with the number of weeks now being increased from 14 to 18 weeks. The leave must be taken before the child reached 8 years of age.

Other changes in this legislation are:

  • If both parents work for the same employer, then with agreement of the employer, 14 weeks from one employee can be transferred to their spouse/partner.
  • The classification of disability has been changed to include “long-term illness”.
  • The age limit for children with long-term illnesses was increased to 16 years.
  • If an employee returning from parental leave requests a temporary change in their working hours or pattern of work, an employer should consider this request but is not required to allow it. If the request is agreed to by the employer then an agreement setting out the new temporary change of hours and/or pattern must be signed by both parties.
  • A record of all parental leave must be kept by employers for a period no less than 8 years.  If an employer fails to do so then they could be liable for a fine of up to €2000.
  • An employee must not be penalized for making such a request.

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