Parental Leave/Force Majeure Leave

Parental Leave Act, 1998

Fourteen weeks' unpaid leave is available to parents of each child born or adopted on or after 3 June 1996.


* Employees must have one year's continuous service to avail of the full 14 weeks' parental leave; a proportion of the leave is available to employees with shorter service in certain circumstances.

* The leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of five. However, special provisions apply in the case of certain adopted children.

* The leave may not be transferred between the parents

* The leave may be taken as one block or, by agreement between employer and employee, broken into weeks, days or hours off

* The leave must be used to take care of the child.

Notification (six weeks in advance) and confirmation must be given to the employer in writing.

An employer may postpone the leave for up to six months on certain stated business grounds.

Employment rights

All employment rights other than remuneration or pension entitlements are protected during parental leave.

Employees are also entitled to return to the same job or suitable alternative employment when the leave ends.

Force Majeure Leave

This is paid leave which arises when injury or illness of a close relative (as specified in the act) makes the immediate present of the employee indispensable.

Maximum allowance is three days in one year or five days over three consecutive years. Part of a day is counted as a full day.

All employment rights are protected during force majeure leave.