The Parental Leave Act, 1998, as amended, allows fathers and mothers to take unpaid leave to look after young children. You may take parental leave either as a single block of 18 weeks or, with your employer’s agreement, as smaller blocks, broken up over a period of time.
Parents who take parental leave may get a PRSI credit for each week taken. This makes sure that cover for social welfare benefits is kept up-to-date. Your employer should write to the Records Section (address below), confirming the number of weeks and exact dates of your parental leave.
For further information on PRSI credits for parental leave contact:
For more information on parental leave, contact:
Covered under PRSI Credits Information Pack
As a parent, you may take parental leave, either as a continuous block of 18 weeks or, with the agreement of your employer, broken up over a period of time.
If you take parental leave you will get a credit for each full week you take. This will ensure that your existing cover for social welfare payments is maintained.
Your employer should write to the Client Eligibility Services confirming the duration, number of weeks and exact dates of your parental leave.
For further information contact:
Parental Leave Credits Covered under Pay Related Social Insurance
Parents may take Parental Leave, either as a continuous block of 18 weeks or, with the agreement of the employer, broken up over a period of time. Parents who take Parental Leave will get a credit for each full week taken. This will ensure that existing cover for social welfare payments is maintained. Employers should write to CES confirming the duration, number of weeks and exact dates of Parental Leave (Client Eligibility Services, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, McCarters Road, Buncrana, Co. Donegal).
Since 8 March 2013 the amount of parental leave available for each child amounts to a total of 18 working weeks per child. Where an employee has more than one child, parental leave is limited to 18 weeks in a 12-month period. This can be longer if the employer agrees. Parents of twins or triplets can take more than 18 weeks of parental leave in a year.
The 18 weeks per child may be taken in one continuous period or in 2 separate blocks of a minimum of 6 weeks. There must be a gap of at least 10 weeks between the 2 periods of parental leave per child. However, if your employer agrees you can separate your leave into periods of days or even hours.
Both parents have an equal separate entitlement to parental leave. Unless you and your partner work for the same employer, you can only claim your own parental leave entitlement (18 weeks per child). If you both work for the same employer and your employer agrees you may transfer 14 weeks of your parental leave entitlement to each other.
There are a number of rules about parental leave that relate to your employment and what your employer must do when you take parental leave.
You must give written notice to your employer of your intention to take parental leave. You should inform your employer in writing at least 6 weeks before the leave is due to start. The notice should state the starting date and how long the leave will last. After this not less than 4 weeks before the leave is due to start, you will need to sign a document with your employer confirming the details of the leave.
For more information on parental leave you can contact the Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Service - see 'Where to apply' below.
Disputes about parental leave can be referred by the employee or the employer within 6 months of the dispute or complaint occurring. You must use the online complaint form available on workplacerelations.ie. The time limit may be extended for up to a further 6 months, but only if there is a reasonable cause which prevented the complaint from being brought within the normal time limit.
For information about employment rights and responsibilities contact:
Workplace Relations Commission
Information and Customer Service
Tel: 059 9178990
LoCall: 1890 80 80 90
A number of changes to parental leave are due to take place in 2019 and 2020. These include:
The legislation needs to be enacted before these changes come into effect.