Parents will now receive 5 weeks ‘Parents Leave’ on the birth of their child.
As of 1st April 2021, The Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2021 was enacted.
New provisions under the Act include:
- An additional three weeks of paid Parents’ Leave and Benefit to each parent to be taken in the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child. Bringing the total leave per parent to five weeks.
- All adopting couples will be able to choose which parent may avail of adoptive leave, including male same-sex couples who were previously precluded due to an anomaly in legislation.
- Paternity Leave and Benefit will be made available to the parent who is not availing of adoptive leave.
Working parents will be entitled to an additional three weeks of paid Parent’s Leave for each parent, and the period in which the leave can be taken will be extended to the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child. The extension will allow parents to spend time with their child in the earliest years. It is non-transferable between parents to ensure that both parents are encouraged and supported in taking time out from work to spend time with their child.
Adoptive parents will also be provided with greater flexibility to decide which parent will avail of adoptive leave and benefit, with paternity leave and benefit available to the parent not availing of adoptive leave.
The additional 3 weeks of parent’s leave is available to employees and the self-employed in respect of new babies born or children adopted after 1st November 2019. The associated benefit will be paid at the same rate as maternity, paternity and adoptive benefits.
The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 introduced two weeks of paid Parents’ Leave for each parent to be taken in the first year after the birth or adoptive placement of a child. Following the enactment of the Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2021, an additional three weeks of paid Parents’ Leave has been granted to each parent, and the period in which the leave can be taken will be extended to the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child.
The extension to Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 follows a number of recent legislative reforms aimed at enabling working parents to spend more time with their children. These include the extension of unpaid Parental Leave to 26 weeks for a child under 12 years in 2020, the introduction of two week’s Parent’s Leave and Benefit in 2019 and the introduction of two weeks’ Paternity Leave in 2016.
The Adoptive Leave Act 1995 provides for an entitlement to 24 weeks leave for an employed adoptive mother or single adopting father. The 24 weeks start from the date the child is placed in the adopting parent’s care. An adoptive benefit is available to qualified parents. An additional 16 weeks may also be taken but the adoptive benefit is not available for this period.
The Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2021 amends the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 to enable adoptive couples to choose which parent may avail of adoptive leave and, in doing so, rectifies an anomaly in the current legislation that left married male same-sex couples unable to avail of adoptive leave. The proposals will also remove the presumption that the adoptive mother be the primary caregiver and permit families to choose the best option for their family.
If you have any questions relating to these updates in legislation, please call Boyd HR on 074 9123150.