New Parent’s Leave expected to be in enacted by 1 November 2019

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill is expected to be enacted by 1 November 2019. When it comes into force it will give both parents of the child two weeks paid parental leave to be taken within the first year of the child’s life. The payment of €245 per week will be made by the State.


It has been introduced to enable both parents to spend more time with their child during the first year of their life and will be in addition to the following protective leaves:

  • 26 weeks of paid maternity leave and up to 16 weeks unpaid additional maternity leave to mothers
  • 2 weeks of paid paternity leave to fathers to be taken within 6 months after the birth of the child
  • 24 weeks of paid adoptive leave to adopting mothers and sole male adopters as well as up to 16 weeks of unpaid additional adoptive leave
  • 22 weeks of unpaid parental leave for each child to each parent and the leave must be taken before the child reaches 12 years or 16 years in the case of a child with a disability or long-term illness

It is expected that this two weeks’ benefit will expand to either seven or nine weeks’ leave by 2021 and the following elements will apply:

  • Each parent will be entitled to the leave where the birth date of the child falls on or after 1 November 2019 or the day of placement in the case of adoption is on or after 1 November 2019
  • An employee will be required to have 12 months continuous service in order to qualify for this parental leave
  • The leave is non-transferable between parents, except in cases where one parent dies, all or any remaining leave is transferred to the other parent
  • The parental leave must be taken within the first year of the child’s life otherwise the benefit is lost if it is not used
  • The parental leave is not allowed to be taken before the date of birth or in the case of adoption, before the date of placement
  • The period of leave taken cannot be less than one week in duration. For example, a parent can take two individual weeks off or the entire two weeks leave together
  • Each parent who takes this leave continues to accrue annual leave and public holiday entitlement
  • Employees who take this leave are entitled to return to the same role, terms and conditions of employment when they return to work
  • The employee is required to give the employer a minimum of 6 weeks written notice of their intention to take this leave

In response to the rise of family leaves that are now available the SFA have produced a Family Leave Entitlements at a Glance chart which you can download here.


If you have any specific concerns or questions please contact Helen on 01 605 1668 or at or visit the advice section on our website

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SFA E-zine - The Tuesday Edition
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