Paternity Leave Policy

Posted in : HR Updates ROI on 26 July 2016
Mags Camody
The HR Suite

Mags Camody of HR Suite looks at The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 which entitles certain employees, who are relevant parents in relation to a child, to employment leave.

The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 allows parents to take paternity leave from employment in respect of a child. 

This Act entitles certain employees, who are relevant parents in relation to a child, to employment leave for the purposes of enabling the employee to provide, or assist in the provision of, care to the child or to provide support to:

  • the mother of the child
  • the adopting mother
  • sole male adopter or
  • to entitle a surviving parent to employment leave on the death of a relevant parent


Entitlement To Leave

Only one person who is a relevant parent in relation to a child shall be entitled to paternity leave in respect of that child.

This Act will create an entitlement of 2 weeks’ paternity leave to be taken as one continuous period of two weeks.

In the event of multiple births, or, if a person adopts 2 or more children at the same time, a person who is a relevant parent in relation to the children concerned shall only be entitled to one period of paternity leave under this section in respect of the children concerned.

A key requirement of the Act will be that paternity leave must be used for the care of the child to which the leave relates.


Notification and Confirmation of Paternity Leave

Paternity leave must usually be applied for at least 4 weeks in advance. However, the Act will allow for relaxation of the normal notification period in cases where the date of confinement occurs four or more weeks before the expected date, subject to a minimal notification period of 14 days.

At the time of notification, or as soon as reasonably practicable afterwards, the employee must give his/ her employer a copy of the medical certificate confirming the pregnancy of the expectant mother and confirming the expected week of confinement of the expected mother. 

In the case of adoption (other than intercountry adoption effected or to be effected outside the state) notification, in writing, of the expected day of placement is required as soon as reasonably practicable. A copy of the certificate of placement issued to the adoptive parent/s must be supplied as soon as possible but no later than 4 weeks after the date of placement.

In the case of intercountry adoption (effected or to be effected outside the state) notification, in writing, of the expected day of placement is required as soon as reasonably practicable. A copy of the applicable declaration of eligibility and suitability issued to the adoptive parent/s must be supplied as soon as possible but no later than 4 weeks after the date of placement.


Taking the Leave

Paternity leave can be taken at any time commencing on the date of the birth (or placement in the case of an adoption) and ending not later than 26 weeks thereafter. This means that a couple can choose to avail of the leave at the time of the birth, or at the end of the period of paid maternity leave. (Thus if they chose, they can have 28 weeks continual paid maternity/paternity leave) or anytime in between.

The period of paternity leave will commence on the date the relevant parent selects in his/ her notification but it cannot commence earlier than the date of confinement or the day of placement and cannot be later than 26 weeks after that date.

The relevant parent who is entitled to but has not taken paternity leave may take that paternity leave at the end of a period of maternity leave that is transferred to the father on the death of a mother during her maternity leave. (This transfer is provided for in section 16 of the Maternity Protection Bill 1994).

This article is correct at 26/07/2016
Disclaimer:

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Mags Camody
The HR Suite

The main content of this article was provided by Mags Camody. Contact telephone number is +353 66 710 2887 or email info@thehrsuiteonline.com

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