Know your rights: Parent’s leave

I am due to have a baby in three months and have arranged to take maternity leave. Am I entitled to any more paid leave to look after the baby?

Parent’s leave is a statutory entitlement for parents that allows each parent 5 weeks paid leave for a child born or adopted on or after 1 November 2019.  It aims to let working parents spend more time with their child.

It must be taken within 2 years of the birth of a child or in the case of adoption, from the date of placement of the child. If you have enough PRSI contributions, you get a weekly Parent’s Benefit payment of €245 from the Department of Social Protection during parent’s leave.

You can take parent’s leave in one 5-week block or in 5 one-week periods.You can visit to find more about parent’s leave.

Parent’s leave is different to parental leave. Parental leave is unpaid and can be taken up until the child’s 12th birthday.

Summary of leave available for parents

Leave Who gets it? How long? Is it paid?
Maternity leave Female employees   26 weeks and up to 16 unpaid weeks Yes, Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks
Adoptive leave One parent of an adopting couple or a parent adopting alone. 24 weeks and up to 16 unpaid weeks Yes, Adoptive Benefit is paid for 24 weeks
Paternity leave A parent of a child under 6 months of age (usually the father or partner of the mother, or in the case of adoption, the parent who is not taking adoptive leave) 2 weeks Yes, Paternity Benefit is paid for 2 weeks
Parental leave Parents and guardians of children under 12 26 weeks No, it’s unpaid
Parent’s leave Parents of children under 2 years of age (or in first 2 years of adoption placement) 5 weeks Yes, Parent’s Benefit can be paid for 5 weeks

You can read more about family leave and benefit on

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