Home Knowledge Update: Parent’s Leave entitlement extends from 5 weeks to 7 weeks

Update: Parent's Leave entitlement extends from 5 weeks to 7 weeks


The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 (Extension of Periods of Leave) Order 2022 (the Order) was published on Friday, 8 July 2022.

Parent’s Leave and Benefit Update

As of 1 July 2022, each relevant working parent is now entitled to seven weeks of State paid leave (via Parent’s Benefit at the applicable rate, if the parent has the required number of social insurance contributions) which are to be taken in the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child.  The leave is therefore available to parents of children who are under the age of two in July 2022 (or adoptive children who have been with their parents for less than two years at that point).

Businesses and organisations are advised to draft and/or update their family leave workplace policies to align with this amended leave entitlement.  Employers should also note that in line with the new EU rules to improve the work-life balance of workers, the Irish Government’s intention is to further extend this entitlement to nine weeks from August 2024.

Parent’s Leave as distinct from Parental Leave

While both types of leave pertain to time taken by employees to care for younger children, employers are encouraged to acknowledge the differences between parent’s leave and parental leave as unique concepts governed by separate pieces of legislation.

Parent’s leave pertains to leave taken in the first 2 years of a child’s life or first 2 years from the adoptive placement of the child.  Parent’s Benefit from the State is available to those with the required number of social insurance contributions.  In contrast, parental leave is a 26 week leave entitlement that an employee can take for each eligible child before their 12th birthday. This is unpaid leave with no State Benefit.

Please see our previous article on parental leave entitlements under the Parental Leave Acts 1998 and 2019 here.

Employers should review their policies and ensure that (1) both types of leave are not confused and (2) are classed as two distinct entitlements.

How Can We Help You?

For more information on employment related matters please contact Catherine O’Flynn, Jeffrey Greene or your usual William Fry contact.

See Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 (Extension of Periods of Leave) Order 2022 here.