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Update – Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (the “Act”) was signed into law by the President on 4th April 2023. The key changes addressed by the Act were outlined in our previous article found here. However, in order for its provisions to come into effect, Commencement Orders are required and a Code of Practice is awaited from the Workplace Relations Commission (the “WRC”).  

On 26th June 2023, Minister O’Gorman announced the commencement date for provisions in relation to leave for medical purposes and the extension of time off for breastfeeding. Both provisions will come into effect from 3rd July 2023.  

Leave for Medical Care Purposes

This new right will enable employees to take unpaid leave for the purpose of providing personal care or support to a person who is their child, spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, parent, grandparent, sibling or other person who resides in the same household as the employee. The person must be in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason. The leave is capped at five days in any period of 12 consecutive months and shall not be taken as a period of less than one day.

Extension of Breastfeeding Facilitation Period

This entitlement extends the period during which an employee is entitled to paid time off work or reduced working hours for breastfeeding purposes from 26 weeks to 104 weeks.

Takeaway for Employers:

Employers must review their policies and ensure that they are in compliance with the new employment entitlements.

It is also worth noting that the legislative provisions introducing the domestic violence leave are planned to commence in the Autumn and employers should start preparing their policies in this regard.

Link – https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/6c834-minister-ogorman-confirms-introduction-of-new-employment-rights-for-parents/#

Authors – Ethna Dillon, Jenny Wakely and Anne O’Connell

30th June 2023

Anne O’Connell Solicitors

19-22 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2


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