Did you know you can take unpaid leave to care for your kids?

Did you know you can take unpaid leave to care for your kids? – 06/08/2019

Surveys found that approximately 41 per cent of working parents out of 1,500 parents were unaware of their legal right to take unpaid parental leave in order to care from their children.

Approximately three quarters of employees have never taken advantage of this entitlement - even though in many cases, it could have helped them.


So, what is parental leave?

Parental leave is an entitlement that allows working parents to take unpaid time off work in order to look after a child or to make arrangements for their welfare.

If you have a child aged under 18, you may have the right to parental leave.


How do I qualify for Parental Leave?


In order to qualify for parental leave, you should:

  1. Be a parent with legal parental responsibility for a child under 18.


You might be required to provide proof of this, for example through the child's birth certificate or the child's adoption certificate.


  1. Be an employee for at least one year's continuous service in your organisation.


If you meet these requirements, then each parent can take 18 weeks' parental leave for each child up to their 18th birthday.

Similarly, if your child is adopted, each parent can take 18 weeks' parental leave. Parental leave can be taken until your child's 18th birthday.


Check your employment contract or staff handbook for your employer's parental leave scheme!

In the Republic of Ireland, a recent amendment to the Parental Leave Act ensures parents get an additional four weeks unpaid leave, on top of the existing 18 weeks entitlement until a child reaches their eighth birthday.

It is estimated that 60,000 parents a year will gain from this change.

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