The Parental Leave Act, 1998 entitles an employee who is the natural or adoptive parent of a child to be entitled to leave from his or her employment for a period of 14 working weeks to enable him or her to take care of the child.
However there are some conditions that must be adhered to before you can obtain this entitlement:
- You must have been in continuous employment for over one year.
- Your child must have been born on or after 3rd of June 1996.
- Your right to Parental Leave ends on the day on which the child concerned reaches the age of 5.
How do you go about requesting this leave?
Once you have satisfied the above criteria an employee must as soon as is reasonably practicable, but not later then 6 weeks before the commencement of the leave, give notice in writing of the proposal to his or her employer. The notice should specify the date of the commencement of the leave; the duration required and it should also be signed and dated by the employee.
Can your Employer refuse you leave?
If your employer refuses leave and has not given you the necessary written notice, you are entitled to refer the matter to a Rights Commissioner. The Rights Commissioner may order that either or both of the following should occur :
(a) grant of parental leave of such length to be taken at such time or times and in such manner as may be so specified and/or
(b) an award of compensation in favour of the employee concerned to be paid by the employer concerned.
The amount of compensation awarded shall not exceed 20 weeks remuneration
It is important to note that you are not entitled to receive payment from your employer while taking parental leave.