Parental Leave Amendment

Currently the Parental Leave Acts 1998 and 2006 entitle parents of, or persons acting in loco parentis to, children aged up to 8 years (or up to 16 years if the child has a disability or long-term illness), to 18 weeks of parental leave in respect of each child.

On May 8, 2019 the Seanad made amendments to the Parental Leave Amendment Bill 2017, the bill will now be returned to the Dáil for final approval before being signed by the President.

The Bill proposes to extend the parental leave entitlement to 26 weeks in respect of each child. The additional 8 weeks entitlement will be phased in, it is proposed that an additional 4 weeks’ parental leave will be introduced from September 2019 and the remaining 4 weeks’ introduced from September 2020.

If passed, the additional 8 weeks provided for under the legislation will also be made available to those parents who have already availed of the existing 18 week entitlement.

The new legislation will also increase the age of the child up to which parental leave can be taken from 8 years to 12 years.

The Act also provides for an amendment to retaining records:

  • – Where the record is in respect of Parental leave, it must be retained for a period of 12 years.
  • – Where the record is in respect of Force Majeure leave, it must be retained for a period of 8 years.

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