Parents Leave 

Parents Leave 

The Parents Leave and Benefit Act, 2019 came into being in January 2020 and Parent’s Leave, as distinct from Parental Leave and Paternity Leave, is now and additional  statutory entitlement for parents. 


It aims to let working parents spend more time with their baby or adopted child during the first year. 


The Difference between Parent’s Leave / Parental Leave / Paternity Leave


  • Parental Leave entitles parents to take unpaid leave from work to spend time looking after their children.  Currently both parents can take up to 22 weeks Parental Leave, increasing to 26 weeks from 1 September 2020.


  • Paternity Leave is specifically for new parents (other than the mother) in their child’s first 6 months.


  • Parent’s Leave is specifically for parents during the child’s first year.




Parent’s Leave – Statutory Entitlement


Parent’s Leave entitles each parent to 2 weeks’ leave during the first year of a child’s life, or in the case of adoption, within one year of the placement of the child with the family.


Eligibility for Parents Leave 


To qualify for this leave, your child must be less than 12 months or in the case of adoption, within one year of the placement of the child.  


Who can take Parent’s Leave


Relevant parents can take Parent’s Leave for eligible children.  A relevant parent is one of the following:


  • A parent of the child
  • A spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant of the parent of the child
  • A parent of a donor-conceived child as provided for under Section 5 of the Children and Family Relationships Act
  • The adopting parent or parents of a child
  • The spouse, civil partner or spouse of the adopting parent of the child (if the parents have not adopted jointly)
  • Each member of a married couple of the same sex, a couple that are civil partners of each other, or a cohabiting couple of the same sex


Parent’s Benefit  


Parent’s Benefit is paid by the government provided the employee has enough PRSI contributions.