PARENTAL LEAVE IN Ireland has been extended from 14 weeks to 18 weeks.
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Mr Alan Shatter, TD, today signed regulations extending the leave, which gives effect to a EU Council Directive which implements a revised framework agreement on parental leave concluded by the European Social Partners.
The Minister commented:
It is important that we support parents of young children in the difficult balancing act of caring for a young family and working.
Under the regulations, parents returning from back to work from parental leave will also be allowed to request a change in their working hours or pattern. Although employers must consider such a request, they are not required to grant it.
Minister Shatter said that he is firmly of the belief that supports such as parental leave “are very important because they give mothers and fathers an equal role in the caring of children”.
This is important on many levels, not least in breaking down stereotypes about child care. I also hope that it will encourage and enable working women to remain in the workforce after they have children.
These new regulations apply to all children who currently qualify for parental leave – children under 8 years of age, or in the case of child with a disability or long term illness, under 16 years of age.
Both parents have an equal, separate entitlement to parental leave.