The new Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019, which was signed into law on 24 October 2019, will provide parents with an additional right to leave. This right to leave, known as “parent’s leave”, will give new parents two weeks leave from employment. They will receive a state benefit of €245 per week (this is the same current rate which is paid for existing Maternity and Paternity Leave).
This new leave can be taken any time within the first year of their child being born and will be in addition to the rights already in place for maternity, adoptive, paternity and parental leave. At present, there are a considerable number of different Acts covering different rights of parents, so see below our summary of the key entitlements:
Employers are not obliged to pay employees during a period of parent’s leave, although some employers may ‘top-up’ parent’s leave. A recent IBEC survey found that as many as 18% of employers have decide to provide parent’s benefit above social welfare to all eligible employees, but 47% of employers have decided to pay no -top-up, while 34% have not yet decided. Those paying top-up will have service qualifications ranging from six months to three years, with most having a one-year service requirement.
Liz O’Donovan, Senior HR Business Consultant