Under new plans, it is proposed that carers and parents of younger children will be entitled to take 5 days of unpaid leave a year to look after people in their care who become unwell/sick. In accordance with the new rules, the Bill seeks to amend the Parental Leave Act, 1998 (as amended), adding to existing statutory entitlements for employees.
As part of the foregoing entitlement, parents and carers will also be entitled to the right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes.
Notwithstanding the above, it is currently envisaged that the bill will seek to amend existing legislation, making provisions under the Maternity Protection Act, 1994 (as amended), so as to allow for transgender men, who have secured a gender recognition certificate, and subsequently given birth, to avail of maternity leave.
Further provision will also be made for additional time off for workers required to breast feed every day for a longer period. As it stands, workers can take time off within the first six months upon their return to work to breastfeed in either 60 minute or two 30 minute intervals. It is now proposed to extend this window up to 104 weeks.
In keeping with our Northern Ireland counterpart, the Bill aims to allocate paid leave for victims of domestic violence however the details for same have yet to materialise and is due to be introduced further down the line as a committee stage amendment.
For further details on the General Scheme of a Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022, click here.
For a full breakdown of the proposed laws or advices on preparing a workplace policy on flexible working, please contact our offices so that we can provide assistance and supply your organisation with a free copy of our internal guidance note.