Parental Leave Act 1998

F7 [ Entitlement to parental leave.

6

6. (1) Subject to this Act, an employee who is a relevant parent in respect of a child shall be entitled to leave from his or her employment, to be known and referred to in this Act as parental leave , for a period of F8 [ 18 working weeks ] to enable him or her to take care of the child.

F9 [ (1A) The reference in subsection (1) to a period of 18 working weeks shall be construed

( a ) in the period from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020, as a reference to a period of 22 working weeks, and

( b ) on and from 1 September 2020, as a reference to a period of 26 working weeks. ]

(2) Subject to sections 10(4) and 11(6) , a period of parental leave shall end

( a ) subject to paragraphs (b) and (c) , not later than the day on which the child concerned F10 [ attains the age of 12 years ] ,

( b ) subject to paragraph (c) , in the case of a child who

(i) is the subject of an adoption order, and

(ii) has, on or before the date of the making of that order, F10 [ attained the age of 10 years but not 12 years ] ,

not later than the expiration of the period of 2 years beginning on that date, or

( c ) if the child concerned has a disability F11 [ or a long-term illness ] , not later than the day on which the child

(i) attains the age of 16 years, or

F8 [ (ii) ceases to have that disability or long-term illness or any other disability or long-term illness, ]

whichever first occurs.

(3) A period of parental leave shall not commence before a time when the employee concerned has completed one year s continuous employment with the employer from whose employment the leave is taken.

(4) Subject to this Act, an employee shall be entitled to parental leave in respect of each child of which he or she is a relevant parent.

(5) A person who is a relevant parent in more than one capacity in respect of a child shall not be entitled to parental leave in more than one such capacity in respect of the child.

(6) Where 2 or more relevant parents in respect of a child are entitled to parental leave in respect of the child, none of the parents shall be entitled to

( a ) the parental leave of any other parent in respect of the child, or

( b ) transfer any part of the period of his or her parental leave to any other parent in respect of the child.

F8 [ (6A) Notwithstanding subsection (6) , where 2 or more relevant parents in respect of a child are entitled to parental leave in respect of the child and the parents are each employed by the same employer, then each relevant parent shall, subject to the consent of the employer concerned, be entitled to transfer part, not exceeding 14 working weeks, of the period of his or her parental leave to any other relevant parent in respect of the child. ]

(7) Notwithstanding subsection (3) , where an employee

( a ) will not have completed one year s continuous employment with his or her employer on the latest day for commencing a period of parental leave having regard to subsection (2) , but

( b ) has completed 3 months of such employment on the latest day for commencing a period of such leave provided for by this subsection,

the employee shall, subject to this Act, be entitled to parental leave for a period of one week for each month of continuous employment that he or she has completed with the employer at the time of the commencement of the leave.

(8) Where, before the relevant day, a person who is a relevant parent in respect of a child

( a ) has taken 14 weeks parental leave in respect of the child (and irrespective of whether the leave consisted of a continuous period or a number of periods), or

( b ) has not taken 14 weeks parental leave in respect of the child (and irrespective of whether the person was prevented from taking all or any of the parental leave by the operation of subsection (3) of this section as in force before the relevant day),

then, on and after the relevant day

( c ) if paragraph (a) is applicable, nothing in this Act as amended by the relevant Act shall entitle the person to any further period of parental leave in respect of that child, and

( d ) if paragraph (b) is applicable, this Act as amended by the relevant Act shall apply to so much of the 14 weeks of parental leave referred to in that paragraph as was not taken before the relevant day in respect of that child.

F9 [ (8A) Where, before the specified day, a person who is a relevant parent in respect of a child has not taken 18 weeks parental leave in respect of the child (and irrespective of whether the person was prevented from taking all or any of the parental leave by the operation of subsection (2) as in force before the specified day) then on and from the specified day this Act, as amended by the specified Act, shall apply to so much of the 18 weeks of parental leave as was not taken before the specified day in respect of that child. ]

(9) In this section

adopting parent means an adopting father, adopting mother or sole male adopter within the meaning of the definitions of adopting father , adopting mother and sole male adopter respectively in section 2 of the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 but as if, in each of those definitions, the words or is to be placed were omitted;

adoptive parent , in relation to a child, means a person in whose favour an adoption order in respect of the child has been made and is in force;

F11 [ continuous employment includes employment completed by an employee under two or more continuous fixed-term contracts with the same employer; ]

F11 [ continuous fixed-term contract has the same meaning as it has in section 9(2) of the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 ; ]

disability , in relation to a child, means an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment of the child such that the level of care required for the child is substantially more than the level of care that is generally required for children of the same age who do not have any such impairment;

F11 [ long-term illness , in relation to a child, means a long-term illness, the effect of which is that the level of care required for the child is substantially more than the level of care that is generally required for children of the same age who do not have any such long term illness; ]

relevant Act means the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006;

relevant day means the day on which section 2 of the relevant Act comes into operation;

relevant parent , in relation to a child, means a person who is

F12 [ ( a ) the parent, the adoptive parent or the adopting parent in respect of the child, or ]

( b ) acting in loco parentis to the child. ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F7

Substituted (18.05.2006) by Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006 (13/2006), s. 2, commenced on enactment.

F8

Substituted (8.03.2013) by European Union (Parental Leave) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 81 of 2013), reg. 4, in effect as per reg. 1(2).

F9

Inserted (19.07.2019) by Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 (11/2019), s. 3(a), (d), S.I. No. 356 of 2019.

F10

Substituted (19.07.2019) by Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 (11/2019), s. 3(b), (c), S.I. No. 356 of 2019.

F11

Inserted (8.03.2013) by European Union (Parental Leave) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 81 of 2013), reg. 4, in effect as per reg. 1(2).

F12

Substituted (18.01.2016) by Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (9/2015), s. 178, S.I. No. 12 of 2016.

Editorial Notes:

E7

Previous affecting provision: subs. (6) amended (18.05.2006) by Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006 (13/2006), s. 3(a), commenced on enactment. This 2006 amendment which contained a small error was in turn repealed (20.07.2008) by Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 (14/2008), s. 3 and schedule, S.I. No. 274 of 2008.

E8

Previous affecting provision: Parental Leave Act 1998, s. 6(2), repealed (19.07.2000) by European Communities (Parental Leave) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 231 of 2000), reg. 3(3).

E9

Previous affecting provision: application of Act extended to certain parents (19.07.2000) by European Communities (Parental Leave) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 231 of 2000) for period to 31 December 2001.