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16 August 2003

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Parental Leave Changes


The Government has announced itsí proposals for change as a result of responses to the consultation undertaken on Parental Leave.

The main changes:

  • The right to take Parental Leave will be extended to all parents with children up to five years old as at 15th December 1999. The rules currently state that it is applicable only if the child was born after that date. (Those parents who now fall into this group will have to take their leave over a period of just over three years, rather than the normal five years.)

  • An employee may take into account employment with their previous employer when deciding when the one-year qualifying period is met.

  • For parents of disabled children, the period of leave will be extended from 13 to 18 weeks.

There was talk about changing the basis of the leave (i.e. introducing some form of standard payment), and increasing the notice period from 21 to 28 days. Neither of these options has been adopted, so the leave remains unpaid, and the notice period remains 21 days.

There is as yet no date for the implementation of the changes, but when they are introduced, employers may need to amend their Parental Leave Agreements accordingly.

October 2001

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This article is an employment law e-ssentials bulletin produced by Hegarty & Co

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