For comprehensive details of the parent’s leave scheme, refer to circular 30//2021 (PDF).
Parent’s leave is a statutory entitlement to five additional weeks of leave available to both parents of children born on or after 1 November 2019, which must be taken within the first two years after birth, or within two years of the placement of a child in the case of adoption.
Operation of parent’s leave
Parent’s leave may be taken as five consecutive weeks, or in periods of not less than one week.
Parent’s leave is not transferable between parents.
The entitlement to parent’s leave is not increased in the case of multiple births. (For example, the father of twins will have an entitlement to five weeks.)
Applying for parent’s leave
Teachers who wish to avail of parent’s leave must apply to their Board of Management with at least six weeks’ notice using the application form at Appendix A of circular 30/2021. A shorter notice period may be accepted at the discretion of the employer.
Postponement of parent’s leave
Parent’s leave is a statutory entitlement, and an eligible parent may not be refused their leave. However, an employer may postpone a period of parent’s leave for up to 12 weeks, if approving the requested dates would have a substantial adverse effect on the running of the school.
Reasons for a postponement of parent’s leave may include:
- difficulty in obtaining a replacement teacher for the period of the absence
- seasonal variations in work
- any other relevant matters
Any postponement of parent’s leave should follow a consultation with the teacher and requires at least four weeks’ notice from the intended start date of the leave. A period of parent’s leave may not be postponed more than once.
The employer must provide written notice to the teacher not later than 4 weeks before the intended commencement date, summarising the grounds for postponement of parent’s leave. The employer must retain a copy of this notice.
Payment during parent’s leave
Parent’s Benefit of €245 per week should be claimed by teachers availing of parent’s leave, subject to DEASP rules.
The Department of Education, at the direction of DPER, has indicated that teachers’ salaries will not be topped up to full salary while availing of this leave.
The INTO strongly objects to this departure from how statutory paid leave is usually addressed for our members, and with our colleagues in the other teacher unions will continue to pursue this matter with the Department of Education. (See here for more.)