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.
The Department of Education has not yet published a circular in relation to Parent’s Leave.
Operation of Parent’s Leave
These five weeks will be available until the child turns two. They must be taken in minimum blocks of one week, but it is not necessary to take the five weeks consecutively. These five weeks are not transferable between parents.
Applying for Parent’s Leave
In the absence of a circular or application form, teachers who wish to avail of Parent’s Leave should put their leave request in writing to their Board of Management with at least six weeks’ notice. A shorter notice period may be accepted at the discretion of Boards of Management.
At present (as of 1 April 2021) it is only possible to record two weeks of Parent’s Leave on the OLCS, but the INTO has been advised that it will be possible to record this absence in full on the OLCS in the coming days.
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 while availing of this leave, and that is how Parent’s Leave has been operated thus far.
The INTO is extremely concerned about this departure from how paid leave is usually addressed for our members, and with our colleagues in the other teacher unions continue to pursue this matter with the Department of Education. (See here for more.)
Changes to Parent’s Leave introduced from April 2021
The following changes to Parent’s Leave were announced in Budget 2021, and introduced from 1 April 2021:
- 2 weeks’ parent’s leave increased to 5 weeks for each parent,
- 2 weeks’ Parent’s Benefit increased to 5 weeks for each parent (if you qualify),
- Parents will be able to take parent’s leave during the first 2 years of their child’s life (or 2 years from adoption), instead of within the first year