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- Developments

- Developments

Legislative Update

The Parental Leave ( Amendment) Act 2019 (the 2019 Act)

On the 22nd May, the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 was signed into law and introduces two significant changes to parental leave entitlements:

  1. Increase in the unpaid parental leave entitlement from the current position of 18 weeks to 26 weeks;
  2. The eligible age of the child increases from 8 to 12;

The leave will be implemented in two stages, from September 2019 an additional four weeks parental leave and from September 2020 a second set of four weeks parental leave.

Link: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/act/2019/11/eng/enacted/a1119.pdf

Parental Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 ( the 2019 Bill)

The Parental Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 (the 2019 Bill) recently published by the Government proposes for the first time in Ireland paid parental leave. The Bill has a number of proposals, namely:

  1. Two weeks paid parental leave in the first year of a child, to commence in November of this year;
  2. The incremental increase of the period of paid leave from two weeks to seven weeks parental benefit over the next three years;
  3. It will be open to all new parents in employment or self-employment
  4. Parental benefit will be paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection at the same rate (currently €245.00) and in addition to existing entitlements to maternity and paternity benefit.

The Benefit is non-transferable, which it is hoped, will incentivise fathers to take up the benefit in the child’s first year.

Proposed EU Directive on Work-Life Balance for parents and carers.

The European Parliament and the Council recently reached agreement on a proposed new Directive on work life balance for parents and carers. The main proposals of the Directive:

The Directive is seen as part of an overall initiative to support parents and cares in the workplace but also to share such leave between men and women equally.

Link: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52017PC0253

It is a notable given the enacted and proposed legislation above, that a trend towards a more balanced work- family relationship is being promoted and encouraged, not only in Ireland but at European level.

Anne O’Connell
Fitzwilliam Hall
Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2

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