Frequently asked questions
Who do the Department mean when they refer to a “relevant parent”?
(i) a parent of the child
(ii) the spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant of a parent of the child
(iii) a parent of the child under section 5 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 where the child is a donor-conceived child within the meaning of Part 2 of that Act.
In the case of a child who is, or is to be, adopted the term “relevant parent” means a teacher who is:
(i) the qualifying adopter of the child, and
(ii) the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, as the case may be, of the qualifying adopter of the child
How much parent’s leave do I have?
This leave is available until your child turns two, or in the case of adoption, for the first two years following your child’s placement.
Is parent’s leave paid?
How do I apply for parent’s leave and benefit?
You must also apply online to the Department of Social Protection for Parent’s Benefit, with at least four weeks’ notice, details here.
Do I have to take parent’s leave in full seven-day blocks?
The full seven weeks do not have to be taken consecutively, but parent’s leave must be taken in multiples of seven days.
Does parent’s leave have to start on a Monday, or on any particular day?
Parent’s leave increased by two weeks on 1 July 2022. I had already used the initial five weeks – can I avail of these additional two weeks?
If you’ve already taken five weeks, you are eligible to take the remaining two weeks.
Parent’s leave increased by two weeks on 1 July 2022. My baby turned two in July 2022. Is there any extension available so I can take these additional two weeks?
Can you explain “Exceptional Arrangements for August 2022” outlined at part 3 of circular 50/2022?
The parent must be eligible for the period of leave which is initially being applied for in August 2022 (i.e. the child must be under the age of two, or have been placed with the parent within the past two years, and for the duration of the initially proposed leave).
As the legislation which extended parent’s leave was only published at the end of June, it may not have been possible for an eligible employee requesting parent’s leave in August to have given six weeks’ notice.
If an employer feels they cannot accommodate the requested period of parent’s leave in August without the usual six week notice period, they may agree a new commencement date which is within 12 weeks of the requested date, even though the child will be over age two when the leave is taken.
This extension will not apply to any parent’s leave application which is made after 31 August 2022, or for the parent of a child who is over the age of two when the application is submitted.
I’m taking leave coming up to holidays. My school is finishing in the middle of a week. Do I have to use a full week of parent’s leave for this final week, even though my school is only open for a couple of days?
(For instance, if your school is closing on a Thursday for Christmas – you could request four days of unpaid leave, Monday to Thursday inclusive, returning to salary on Friday, rather than a full seven-day block of parent’s leave which will overlap your Christmas holidays.)
See Chapater 11 of circular 54/2019 (PDF) for details of unpaid leave.
I’m taking parent’s leave right up to the end of June. Do I need to return to school at the end of term in order to get paid for the summer holidays?
I have just started with my current school – am I entitled to take parent’s leave?
Can my school refuse to grant the parent’s leave I’ve applied for?
However, they do have the discretion to postpone your leave for up to twelve weeks from your proposed commencement date, if granting the dates you’ve requested would have a “substantial adverse effect on the operation of the school.”
If your school wishes to postpone your parent’s leave, they must consult with you in relation to the proposed postponement.
If you child turns two during the postponement imposed by your employer, you will still be considered eligible for your parent’s leave and benefit.
Can I use some of my partner’s parent’s leave?
There is an exception if one parent dies before the expiration of the leave, in which case the remaining leave may be taken by the surviving parent.
I am on parent’s leave but have become unwell. Can I switch to sick leave?
Can parent’s leave still be taken following the death of a child?
I have applied for parent’s leave, but I want to amend the dates requested – am I entitled to do this?
You will have to give six weeks’ notice for a subsequent application for parent’s leave.
Can I substitute teach while on parent’s leave?
Does taking parent’s leave delay my increment?
Will taking parent’s leave effect my pension?
However, you won’t make pension contributions while you’re not receiving a salary, so if you have taken a lot of unpaid leave, you may wish to consider buying Notional Service or Additional Retirement Benefit through DE Primary Pensions, or contributing to AVCs, in order to make up any shortfall in your contributions.
Cornmarket can provide financial planning advice to INTO members.
You can also claim credited PRSI contributions from the DSP for any periods of parent’s leave, details here.
How does my INTO membership work if I’m off salary, on parent’s leave?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your unpaid leave, and the Membership team will ensure that your membership remains live throughout. Please include your DE Payroll number so Membership can confirm your identity.