From 1st September 2020, under the Parental Leave Acts 1998 to 2019, parents have an increased entitlement of 4 weeks. Parents are now entitled entitled to 26 weeks unpaid parental leave to enable them to take care of their child.
Employees who previously availed of 22 weeks parental leave and whose child is under 12 years of age are entitled to a further 4 weeks leave which can be taken in blocks comprising of no less than one week. Employees who have an outstanding balance of their 22 weeks leave and whose child is under 12 years of age are entitled to take the balance of the untaken weeks along with the additional 4 weeks, in blocks of no less than one week.
Employees who have not previously availed of parental leave in relation to the child concerned are required to take their parental leave for the child in question, in a continuous block of 26 weeks, or two blocks of six or more weeks with a minimum of 10 weeks between each block.
In the case of an adopted child, who is under 10 years at the time of adoption, the leave must be taken before the child reaches 12 years of age. If the child is aged between 10 and 12 years, at the time of adoption, the leave must be taken within two years of the adoption order.
Where a parent has more than one child, no more than 26 weeks’ parental leave may be taken in any 12-month period, except in the case of multiple births. An employee must have one year’s continuous service with the organisation before they are entitled to take parental leave.