Increased Parents Leave:

The Government, under the EU Work-Life Balance Directive recently approved an increase in Parent’s Leave entitlement from two to five weeks’. The change, effective April 1 st 2021, entitles parents of a child born or adopted on or after 1 November 2019 to five weeks’ leave. The leave can be taken at any time in the first two years following the birth/adoption of the child.

The employer does not have to pay the employee for the period of Parents Leave but eligible parents can avail of Parents Benefit from the Dept of Social Protection. Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys has confirmed the increase will apply retrospectively, allowing parents who have already taken two weeks’ leave an extra three weeks in 2021.

In short from April 1 st 2021;
– Parent’s Leave has increased 2 to 5 weeks for each parent
– Parent’s Benefit has increased from 2 to 5 weeks for each eligible parent
– Parent’s Leave can be taken during the first 2 years following the birth or adoption of the child.
– Parent’s Leave can be taken as one block of 5 weeks together or taken as separate weeks of leave
– The increase is available for any child born or adopted on or after 1 November 2019

Last year legislation was introduced to extend Parental Leave entitlements from 22 to 26 weeks. Parental Leave is available for parents of children under 12, or under 16 with a disability or long-term illness. Since its introduction in November 2019, 15,000 people have availed of Parent’s Benefit While Parental Leave it is unpaid, the increased entitlement along with the latest changes to Parents Leave; the introduction of the Right to Disconnect and forthcoming legislation on Flexible Working for employees; show a certain commitment from the Government to encourage a better work-life balance in the workplace and society.