What are the increased periods of parental leave?

The available parental leave increases to 22 working weeks from 1 September 2019.

The parental leave will further increase to 26 working weeks from 1 September 2020.

The age for an eligible child has also increased from age 8 to age 12. It has increased up to age 16 for certain qualifying children with a disability or long term illness.

For a parent who has not already taken the existing 18 working weeks they may be able to take any remaining leave provided the child is still under 12 years of age (or otherwise still eligible).

The press release issued by the Department of Justice and Equality includes a statement from Minister Flanagan that states “The new measures allow any parent who has already availed of their current entitlement of 18 weeks to avail of a further eight weeks of parental leave.”

Employer obligation to retain and hold records

Employers must now maintain records for a longer period of time to reflect the new rules.
Parental leave records must be retained for a period of 12 years and force majeure records must be retained for 8 years.

These provisions came into effect on 19 July 2019. Legislation reference: SI 356/2019 Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2019.

How can an employee avail of the is parental leave?

Employees must provide 6 weeks notification of the intention to take parental leave so you should find out from your employer the procedures to be followed if you wish to avail of this relief.

When will employees be paid for parental leave?

Currently there is no obligation for an employer to pay for parental leave, only force majeure leave where the strict conditions for that leave are satisfied.

The commencement of the new social insurance based paid 2 weeks parental leave to both parents in the first year of a child’s life has not yet happened. The same press release indicates that this may be coming later this year.

If you have questions on employment law and your obligations as an employer or your rights as an employee please contact Michelle.


The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal and taxation advice should be sought before acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice.

No liability whatsoever is accepted by M. McLoughlin & Co. for any action taken in reliance on the information in this article