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Q. What is Parental Leave?

The Parental Leave Act 1998-2006 and the European Union (Parental Leave) Regulations 2013 provide parental leave and force majeure leave entitlements. 

The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 amends the Parental Leave Act 1998 and extends the period of unpaid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks.  The additional leave is 26 weeks from 1 September 2020.

The Act increases the upper age limit of a child for which parental leave may be taken from 8 to 12 years of age.

Any parent who has already availed of their current entitlement of 18 weeks will be permitted to take the remainder of the new increased entitlement, provided that the child is under the age of 12.

Public health service employees are entitled to take parental leave in respect of children up to the age of 13 years.  Special provisions apply for adopted children.

If both parents are employed by the same employer one parent may transfer up to 14 weeks’ of their parental leave to the other but this is subject to the employer’s agreement.


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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