Understanding Parent's Leave in Ireland

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Published: 15 May 2024

Many countries have parental leave policies to support working parents. In Ireland, each parent is entitled to 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave. In addition to this, parents are also entitled to 7 weeks' parent's leave each (increasing to 9 weeks from August 2024). This can be taken up to the second birthday of their child, or in the case of adoption, within 1 year of the child's placement with the family. The leave period remains the same in the case of multiple births or adoptions. Employees must notify their employers 6 weeks in advance.

If you have enough Pay Related Social Insurance contributions (PRSI), you will get a weekly Parent’s Benefit of EUR 274. This is paid by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). While on parent’s leave, your employer does not have to pay you, though, some may choose to provide payment or top up your pay based on your employment contract.

Parent's Leave provides working employees with the flexibility and financial support needed to prioritise their family's well-being during the early years of their child's life. With the upcoming increase in Parent's Leave entitlement to 9 weeks from August 2024, Ireland is taking proactive steps to further support working parents. This enhancement reflects the government's commitment to promoting a healthy work-life balance.

This initiative established in Budget 2024, represents a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and supportive society.

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