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We previously provided an update on the changes to parental leave entitlements introduced by the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 (the Act). The most recent increases to the entitlements will apply from 1 September 2020.

The impact of these changes

Employees will now be entitled to take 26 weeks unpaid parental leave, compared to the previous 22 weeks. The Act also previously increased the maximum age of the child for whom parental leave can be taken, from 8 years to 12 years.

Additional changes in the coming months

The Government’s Parental Leave Scheme allows employees to take two weeks paid parent’s leave with a benefit from the State during the first 12 months of the baby’s life. As part of Budget 2021, it is expected this will increase to five weeks parent’s leave with a benefit from the State. It is also expected that parents will be allowed to take the leave in the first 2 years’ of a child’s life.


Employers should prepare for the increased entitlement by revising their parental leave policies and procedures to reflect the new changes.

It is likely we will see more developments in this area in the future. Distinct from parental leave, there are proposals to increase the entitlement to parent’s leave later this year. Our team will issue a further update after the Budget is announced in October.

If you would like to discuss the potential impact of this issue on your business, please contact a member of our Employment & Benefits team.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

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