On 8th March 2013, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Mr Alan Shatter, TD signed regulations extending parental leave from 14 weeks to 18 weeks. The regulations transpose EU Council Directive 2010/18/EU into Irish law. The regulations also provide that up to 14 weeks’ leave can transferred from one parent to another but only in circumstances where both parents work for the same employer and the employer agrees. Employees returning from parental leave now have the right to ask for a change in their working hours or pattern for a limited period. Employers must consider such a request but are not required to grant it.