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Q. Must the whole 104 weeks be taken together?

For each relevant person, Carer's leave may be taken in a continuous period of 104 weeks, or in a number of separate periods, the total of which must not exceed 104 weeks.  

Your employer has the right to refuse to grant carer's leave for a period of less than 13 weeks, 'on reasonable grounds'.  However, your employer must specify in writing to you the grounds for such refusal.  If you are not satisfied with these reasons, you have the right to appeal to the Adjudication Service of the WRC.

If the leave is taken in separate periods, there must be a gap of at least 6 weeks between the periods of leave in respect of a particular relevant person.

The Act does, however, allow for employer and employee to agree more favourable terms to the employee than those provided for under the Act.

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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie