Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019

The Parents's Leave and Benefit Act came into force on 1 November 2019  

The Act provides each parent of a child under 12 months with the right to two weeks parent’s leave and for a corresponding social insurance benefit, called Parent’s Benefit. The main provisions of the Act are:

  • The new law will apply to parents of a child born or adopted from 1 November 2019.

  • Employees will be required to give six weeks’ notice to their employer, setting out the expected start date and the duration of the planned leave.

  • An employer may postpone the commencement of parent’s leave for up to 12 weeks where it would have a substantial adverse effect on the business.

  • The Benefit will be paid at the same rate as Maternity and Paternity Benefits.

  • All employment rights are protected while an employee is on parent’s leave. Absence on parent’s leave does not affect the employee’s rights other than to remuneration. A period of absence on parent’s leave cannot be treated as part of any other leave.

Employers should update their maternity, paternity and adoptive leave policies to reference or incorporate parent’s leave entitlements, or introduce a new policy. Where a salary top-up is provided during some or all the period of paid maternity, paternity and adoptive leave, employers should assess the options and implications of extending the top-up for the extra two weeks parent’s leave.

For more information, read our factsheet on the Act

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