Parental and Force majeure leave
In the case of parental leave, each parent
is entitled to 14 weeks unpaid leave for each child, to enable him or her to
take care of the child.
The leave must be taken before the child
reaches five years of age.
The only exception to this is in the case
of adopted children. If the child is under three at the time of the adoption,
then the same rule applies - leave must be taken by the time the child is five.
However, if the child is aged between three and eight at the time of adoption,
the leave must be taken within two years of the adoption order.
An employee must have at least one year's
continuous service with an employer before being entitled to take parental
leave. However, where an employee has more than three months', but less than
one year's service and where the child is approaching the age threshold, the
employee is entitled to one week's leave for every month of continuous
employment completed with the employer.
There is no entitlement to social welfare
benefit while on parental leave. Employees may receive credited social welfare
contributions following a period of parental leave. Employees are advised to
contact their local social welfare office directly.
Force majeure leave
Force majeure is a legal term which means
that some important and critical event has occurred, as a result, releasing the
person directly affected from his or her legal obligations in a particular
matter that would otherwise have applied.
It entitles an employee to a number of
paid days leave, in order to deal with a family emergency arising from an
unforeseen injury to or illness of an immediate family member, which requires
the employee's immediate presence at their side.
Under Force majeure leave, the employee is
entitled to paid leave for up to three days in any 12-month period or five days
in any period of 36 consecutive months.
Force majeure leave specifically excludes
bereavements - currently there is no statutory entitlement to paid time off
resulting from a family bereavement. (However many companies would have a
policy granting some leave in this regard.)
The immediate family members of the
employee covered for the purposes of Force majeure leave are:
-A child of the employee, including
-A spouse or person with whom the employee
is living as a husband or wife.
-A person to whom the employee is in loco
parentis (a guardian).
-A brother or sister of the employee.
-A parent or grandparent of the employee.
The scope of the act does not extend
beyond the immediate family, e.g. to the mother-in-law.
There is no service requirement for an
employee to take Force majeure leave.