The No Bullsh*t Guide To.. Parental Leave
If you are a working parent in Ireland, you are entitled to a certain number of day's 'Parental Leave' in the event that you need time off to attend to your child for any reason.
How Many Days Can I Take?
Parental Leave is allowable at a total of 18 weeks per child which can be taken up until your child is 8 years old.
If your child has a long-term illness, the leave can be taken up until your child is 16 years old.
Is It Paid Leave From Work?
The leave is unpaid, but your job is protected under employment rights which allows you to return to work after the leave is taken.
Can I Receive Social Welfare Contributions While I'm Off?
Unfortunately not. However, your annual leave and public holiday days off should accrue and you can also have your PRSI contributions credited on your return.
How Long Do I Need To Be In Employment To Qualify?
Usually you need to be employed for one year in order to apply for Parental Leave.
However, if your child is very near the age threshold and you have been working for your employer for over three months, you can apply for pro-rata parental leave (i.e. one week's leave for every month worked).
How Do I Apply?
You must make an application in writing to your employer of your intention to take leave, at least 6 weeks before leave is due to start.
Does My Employer Have To Grant The Leave?
Your employer can refuse leave on the grounds of lack of cover or because another employee is taking parental leave at the same time.
Normally, an employer can only postpone Parental Leave once for a period of six months.
Can I Take All The Leave At The Same Time?
Yes, it can be taken in one continuous 18 week block, or separated into 2 blocks with a gap of 10 weeks between blocks.
However, if your employer agrees, it can be broken down into taking individual days or even hours.
What If I Have Two Or Three Kids?
Where a parent has more than one child, they are limited to taking 18 weeks in a 12 month period unless otherwise agreed with their employer.
Are Both Parents Entitled To Parental Leave?
Yes, both parents can take an equal number of days parental leave.
What If We Both Work For The Same Company?
The same amount of leave applies. If your employer agrees, you can transfer 14 weeks of leave between the two of you.
Can I Use The Leave For Other Reasons Than To Mind My Child?
Parental Leave has been designed as a means for parents to have some flexibility (and security) with their employment when it comes to taking care of a child due to illness or other reason whereby your child needs you.
You are not entitled to use the leave for any other purposes and if an employer discovers that you are using Parental Leave for any other reason, they may cancel the leave immediately.
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