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Parental Leave Amendment Act 2019

Current Parental Leave legislation provides that an employee is entitled to avail of up to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave for the sole purpose of taking care of their child. In order to qualify for this leave, the employee must have one year’s continuous service with their employer and the child in question must not have attained the age of 8.

However, as of September 1st 2019, the Parental Leave Amendment Act 2019 increased an employee’s entitlement to parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks on a phased basis. Starting from the 1st September 2019 until the 31st August 2020, an employee will be allocated an additional 4 weeks of leave, from the 1st September 2020 onwards the final 4 weeks of leave will be provided to the employee. In addition, the Act also increases the age of requirement for the child is question from 8 to 12, facilitating employees with an extra 4 years to avail of the leave contained under the Act.

Significantly, Employees who have already used some or all of the current 18 week parental leave entitlement will be able to avail of the additional eight weeks, in line with the phased introduction above, on the basis their child has not exceeded the age of 12.

Employers as of the 1st September, will be obliged to comply with these updates. Therefore, particular attention should be given to the contents of Employees Contracts of Employment and/or Employee Handbooks that makes express reference to their parental leave policies going forward.
For further advices relating to the upcoming changes or for redrafting of company policies please do not hesitate to contact us directly at rhyde@purdyandco.ie or (091) 565 765.

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