The granting of Parental leave is governed by the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006.
Parental leave can be granted to men and women to take care of their young children where;
- the employee has one years continuous service
- in a case where an employee has not completed one years continuous service but has 3 months in the same employment he/she is entitled to one week of each month of continuous service if the child is reaching the age threshold
- the act applies to natural or adoptive parents
- both parents are entitled to parental leave.
- transfer of parental leave entitlements from one parent to another if both parents are employed by the same employer, subject to the employer's agreement.
- an increase in the maximum age of the eligible child to 16 years in the case of children with disabilities.
- extension of parental leave entitlements to persons acting in loco parentis in respect of an eligible child.
- an employee is protected against dismissal in relation to exercising their right to parental leave.
The entitlement is to 14 weeks unpaid leave (in a 12 month period) in respect of a child born or adopted after 3/6/96. The leave must end not later than the day on which the child attains the age of 8 years. [Where there are multiple births the parent is entitled to 14 weeks per child in a 12 month period if a parent so requests.
Leave may be taken in a number of ways;
- a continuous period of 14 weeks
- with the agreement of the Manager, one or more days at a time or a
combination of hours.
Where public holidays fall during a period of such leave and on a day when the person would normally be required to work, an extra day should be added to the period of Parental Leave and the employee should be paid in respect of this day.
If an employee falls ill while on parental leave and as a result is unable to care for the child they may suspend the parental leave for the duration of the illness following which period the parental leave recommences.
An employee must give 6 weeks written notice of their intention to take parental leave and the proposed manner in which the leave is to be taken. Evidence of the birth/adoption is required.
An employee on parental leave is entitled to be treated as if he/she had not been absent, so that all their rights except the right to remuneration and superannuation benefits, will be unaffected during the leave.
A probationary period may be suspended during the period of Parental Leave