I heard that there will be changes to parental leave this year. What are they?

A number of changes to parental leave are due to take place in 2019 and 2020. Currently parents (and people acting in loco parentis) can take 18 weeks unpaid parental leave on behalf of children up to age eight.  A phased extension to parental leave is planned. From 1 September 2019, parental leave will increase by 4 weeks to 22 weeks. From 1 September 2020, parental leave will increase again by 4 weeks to 26 weeks.  

The age of eligible children will increase from 8 to 12 years of age from 1 September. Currently, if your child has a disability or a long-term illness, you can take parental leave up until their 16th birthday – there is no change to this provision. 

If you have already taken some, or all of the current entitlement of 18 weeks parental leave, you will get the additional weeks of parental leave, provided your child is still under the qualifying age. 

A new paid Parental Leave Scheme that will allow parents to take two weeks paid leave each during their child’s first year is expected from November 2019. Legislation needs to be enacted before this change can come into effect. You can follow the progress on oireachtas.ie.

Further information is available from Clifden Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0761 07 7580 / 087 1301100 Email: clifden@citinfo.ie – 2nd Floor, Credit Union Building, Clifden. Open  Thursday 7pm – 8pm, Friday 10.30am – 3.30pm. Letterfrack service Tuesday 17th September 2019, 1pm to 4pm, Connemara West. Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000