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Increased parental leave entitlement in Ireland now in force

Written by
Lewis Silkin, widely recognised as Ireland’s leading specialist employment law practice
From 1 September 2020, Ireland’s enhanced arrangements for unpaid parental leave apply, increasing the entitlement to 26 weeks.  

As explained in our previous article from last year (see here), from today, 1 September 2020, unpaid parental leave entitlement in Ireland increases from 22 weeks to 26 weeks.

This means that eligible parents will be able to take 26 weeks’ parental leave for each child where their children fall within the following age thresholds:

  • up to 12; or
  • up to 16 years in cases of disability or long-term illness; or
  • for up to two years after the date of the adoption order if adopted between the ages of 10 – 12.


Parents who have already used their 22 weeks’ parental leave, may be able to benefit from the additional four weeks’ leave from today as long as their children are still within the above thresholds.

As with the previous increase to parental leave entitlements in September 2019, employers should check their policies and procedures to take into account the increase from today onwards.