News Article

latest news in employment law

Changes to Paid Parental Leave

Published 01 May 2014

To qualify, Employees must have worked regularly for the same Employer, or have been self-employed, for an average of 10 hours a week for at least the previous six months

•     1 April 2015 extended to 16 weeks

•     1 April 2016 extended to 18 weeks

The changes will also allow parents on leave to take part in employer training and planning days or work occasionally without missing out on their entitlements. At the moment, parental leave payment cease when an employee “returns to work”. This means that if an employee returns to work during their parental leave - even just for a single day or a single meeting - they risk losing their entitlement to payments for parental leave.

Permanent Carers May be Eligible for Parental Leave

From 1 April 2016 primary carers, legal guardians of foster children, and those with similar permanent care arrangements may become eligible to receive paid parental leave.

Seasonal and Casual Workers

From 1 April 2016 persons who have recently changed jobs, casual and seasonal employees may be eligible for paid parental leave.

There is a presumption that the employee’s position is kept open while on parental leave.

If the duration of the leave is for a period exceeding four weeks the presumption continues. However, there are two main exceptions to this; the first is the occurrence of a redundancy situation. In a recent decision the Employment Relations Authority awarded.

The second is if the employee’s position cannot be kept open because a temporary replacement is not reasonably practicable due to the employee’s key position. Whether an employee’s position is a key position will depend on the circumstances of each case, including the size of the employer’s business and the training or skills required in the job.

Be familiar with Employee rights and your obligations with our Parental Leave Guide 2014. Members can download this from the Dashboard Library in their Toolbox account on
Non members can purchase from here : Parental Leave Guide 2014.