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17
Nov 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Adoptive Leave Acts 1995 & 2005

The Adoptive Leave Act 1995 and 2005 covers all adopting mothers or sole male adopters who are in employment. The Act also covers employed adopting fathers in the event of the adopting mother’s death occurring following the adoption during the period of adoptive or additional adoptive leave. Under this act an employee is entitled to a minimum of 24 consecutive weeks’ adoptive leave and an optional 16 weeks’ additional adoptive leave.

An adoptive parent must give their employer at least 4 weeks written notice of the expected date of placement of the child, and confirm this as soon as possible. A certificate of placement (available from the Adoption Authority of Ireland or HSE) must be given to the employer no later than 4 weeks after the date of placement.

Adopting parents are entitled to time off during working hours without loss of pay to attend preparation classes and pre-adoption meetings with social workers/ health board officials required during the pre-adoption process.

There is no set period of the retention of adoptive leave records, however claims can be made within 6 months of employers being informed of an issue giving rise to a dispute or extended to 12 months in exceptional circumstances which employers must be aware of.

Bright Contracts' handbook includes each family related leave policy including adoptive leave under the 'Leave & Benefits' section of the handbook. If you'd like to download a trial of our software to preview these sections click here.

Related Articles:

Parent's Leave & Benefit Act 2019

Don't Forget About Fathers: Paternity Leave & Benefit Act 2016

Posted in Family Leave

3
Nov 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Parent's Leave & Benefit Act 2019

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 came into effect on the 1st of November 2019. This Act provides for 5 weeks parent’s leave with protection of employment for a relevant parent in respect of a child born or adopted on or after the 1st of November 2019. The purpose of the Act is to enable the relevant parent to provide, or assist in the provision of, care to the child.

This leave can be taken within 24 months, up to a child's second birthday or within two years following adoption. Parents can take 5 weeks together or take separate weeks of leave. Whilst parent’s leave is available to both parents, it is not possible for parents to transfer leave to the other parent, except in the unfortunate circumstances where one of the parents dies. While on parent’s leave an employee will normally be entitled to statutory parent’s leave pay, depending on meeting certain PRSI eligibility criteria. 

Employees wishing to take parent's leave must notify the employer in writing, giving at least 6 weeks’ notice of their intention to take the leave. They should state the expected start date for the leave and how they intend to take the leave – either five weeks together or separate weeks of leave.

Employees may be required to provide a medical certificate confirming the pregnancy and expected date of birth, or a copy of the birth certificate for the child. In the case of adoptions, a certificate confirming eligibility for adoption will be required.

Paid parent’s leave can be taken in addition to existing Maternity Leave, Adoptive Leave, Paternity Leave and Parental Leave rights, as applicable to each "relevant" parent.

Something important to note is that the employer may postpone a request to take parent's leave by up to 12 weeks, in cases where it is felt that by granting the leave request there would be an adverse effect on the business. Before postponing any request, the employer will consult with the employee.

Once a decision has been made to postpone, the employer will provide the employee with written confirmation that the leave is being postponed giving 4 weeks’ notice before the intended commencement date. The confirmation will set out the grounds for the postponement. The employer will only be permitted to postpone the leave on one occasion.

During parent’s leave the employees employment rights are preserved, and annual leave will continue to accrue. The employer reserves the right to refuse time-off to employees where there is non-compliance with this procedure, and any such non-compliance may be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure.

Parent's Leave & Maternity Leave

However if any employee requires to take all or any of the 16 weeks unpaid maternity leave, that leave must be taken directly after the paid maternity ends. Again the employee does not have to take the full 16 weeks unpaid, they can move directly to Parents Benefit after paid Maternity ends, they can take any number of weeks of the unpaid maternity leave that they require and after availing of the weeks they require under that entitlement either return to work or move to Parents Benefit.

So how must an employee notify their employer of their intention to take maternity leave?

At least 4 weeks before the commencement of maternity leave stating the date on which the leave is due to commence.

Related Articles:

-  Don't Forget About Fathers: Paternity Leave & Benefit Act 2016

The Employer & Maternity Leave

Posted in Company Handbook, Family Leave

28
Oct 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Don't Forget About Fathers: Paternity Leave & Benefit Act 2016

The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 came into effect on the 1st of August 2016 and provides for 2 consecutive weeks paternity leave with protection of employment for a relevant parent in respect of a child born or adopted on or after the 1st of September 2016. The Act also provides that paternity leave may be transferred to the surviving parent on the death of a relevant parent.

The Act covers employees who are relevant parents or a surviving parent from the first day of employment, including those who are working as apprentices, as agency temps, civil servants etc.

Statutory paternity leave consists of 2 consecutive weeks leave to enable a father to provide care, or assist in the provision of care, for the child or provide support to the mother or adopting parent, or both.

Paternity leave can be taken at any time commencing on the date of the birth of the child or placement in the case of adoption, and ending no later than 26 weeks after the date of birth or placement.

Did you Know?

Shockingly, almost half of fathers entitled to paternity benefit do not avail of it and the level of uptake varies dramatically depending on the sector and size of company a person works in. While paid and unpaid leave for new fathers has increased and expanded in recent years, the uptake remains low with less than half (45%) of fathers entitled to paternity benefit did not take it in 2018.

The central statistics office released an employment analysis of maternity and paternity benefits. They haven't updated it past 2019 at present but we still thought the figures presented for 2016 - 2019 were interesting and worth looking at.

In 2019 paternity leave was paid to 3.1 men per 100 employees, which was a slight increase on the 2018 rate of 2.9. However this is still well below the rate of maternity benefit which was paid to 5.3 per 100 employees in 2019.

The sectors with the highest paternity and maternity benefit rate is the Public Administration & Defence. With Accommodation & Food Service having the lowest maternity and paternity benefit rate.

So how long must employers keep records of paternity leave?

The employer is required to keep a record of paternity leave taken by their employees, specifying the period of employment of each employee and the dates and times of paternity leave taken. These records must be maintained for a period of 8 years after the paternity leave has been taken. Failure to keep such records can mean the employer is liable to a Class B fine not exceeding €4,000.

Bright Contracts' handbook includes each family related leave policy including paternity leave under the 'Leave & Benefits' section of the handbook. If you'd like to download a trial of our software to preview these sections click here.

Related Articles:

The Employer & Maternity Leave

Supporting Female Employees: Implementing a Menopause Policy

 

Posted in Company Handbook, Contract of employment, Family Leave