Increased parental leave entitlement

Changes in legislation providing for an increase in unpaid parental leave came into effect from 1 September 2020

Unpaid parental leave increased from 22 weeks to 26 weeks per parent per child under 12 years (or 16 where they have a disability) on 1 September 2020. Read our parental leave factsheet here.

We are conscious that the myriad of parenting benefits can cause confusion, and many of the paid leaves such as maternity, paternity, parent’s leave have to be taken weekly and do not allow for flexibility in how parents may take the time off. See our infographic below on entitlements to parenting leaves.

CIPD's HR Practices in Ireland 2020 survey reports that many organisations facilitated flexibility in how employees could take unpaid parental leave. We found that 39% of organisations allowed employees to break this leave down into days and another quarter allowed it to be broken down into weeks.

Greater flexibility supports parents to better manage their work/life balance and can result in fewer negative outcomes such as stress, withdrawal from the labour market, and disengagement.