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Parents’ Leave and Parental Leave-an explanation of the differences

By May 18, 2021June 26th, 2024No Comments

The recent announcement by the Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman of an extension of the entitlement to parents’ leave highlights the confusion that can sometimes arise between what is meant and what are the entitlements under parents’ leave and parental leave.

This article attempts to explain the differences between the two types of leave.

Parental Leave

 Parental leave was brought in by the Government in 1998 as a recognition of time that parents may wish to take (outside of maternity leave) during the young life of a child i.e. up to twelve years of age or sixteen if the child has a disability.

An employee can take this leave provided that he or she has one year service with the employer or at least three months service where the entitlement to take the leave is expiring.

The leave can be taken in respect of each child i.e. up to 26 weeks for each child. It can be taken in one block or in blocks of a minimum of six weeks each or otherwise by agreement with the employer.

An employer may, having provided notice and consulted with the employee , postpone the request to take the leave for a period of nine months.

Parental leave is unpaid both by the employer and the government.

Parents Leave

Parents’ Leave was brought in a number of years ago and relates to children born after the 1st of November 2019.

The recent extension of this leave now means that the leave allows each parent to take five weeks parent’s leave within the child’s first two years of life or placement. The leave can be taken in a five-week block or can be broken up at periods of not less than one week each.

The parents’ leave cannot be transferred between parents other than on the death of one of the parents.

An employer can postpone this leave on the giving of notice and having consulted with the employee for a period of twelve weeks.

The leave is the same even if the parent has had multiple births.

The parents’ leave is unpaid by the employer, but the state pays the sum of €245.00 for each week of leave (currently) dependant upon PRSI contributions.


For further information in relation to this or any other employment related topic please don’t hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon or Conor White on 01-2960666