The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 (“the 2019 Act”) has now been commenced and is effective from the 19th July last. Employers must now ensure that policies and procedures are up to date and in line with the new entitlements and must prepare for applications for additional parental leave immediately.
The 2019 Act amends the Parental Leave Act 1998 (“the 1998 Act”) and provides for the extension of the period of unpaid parental leave from the current entitlement of 18 weeks to 22 weeks from the 1st September 2019 and to 26 weeks from the 1st September 2020. The 2019 Act also increases the age of the child in relation to whom parental leave is available from 8 to 12 years of age. Therefore, parents will now be able to avail of their extended entitlements up until the child in question turns 12 years old.