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New Parental Rights to Come Into Effect Imminently

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 was signed into law by the President on 4 April 2023. As we previously reported, the new legislation does five things:

  1. Introduces five days of unpaid medical care leave for employees with caring responsibilities
  2. Extends an employee’s rights under maternity leave legislation, including increasing the timeframe in which an employee can take breastfeeding breaks from 6 months up to two years
  3. Introduces five days of paid leave for victims of domestic violence
  4. Introduces the right to request flexible working arrangements for employees with caring responsibilities
  5. Introduces the right to request remote working for all employees


Up to now, we did not know the date on which the legislation would be effective, ie come into force. However, earlier this week, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman, announced that certain parts of the legislation would come into effect from Monday, 3 July 2023.

They are:

  1. Five days unpaid leave for medical care purposes, and
  2. The extension of rights under maternity leave legislation

Minister O’Gorman also announced that it is planned for the provisions of the legislation relating to domestic violence leave will commence in autumn 2023.

The right to request flexible working for employees with caring responsibilities will be commenced following the preparation of a Code of Practice by the WRC. There is no timeline yet for this.

There is no indication yet as to when the right to request remote working will be commenced.


The announcement by Minister O’Gorman provides welcome clarity for both employers and employees on the expected timelines for the introduction of these new rights.

Employers will need to familiarise themselves with these new rights so that they are equipped to deal with requests as they arise.

For more information on the likely implications on your business, contact a member of our Employment Law & 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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