Good news for those of you looking at your kids on school holidays and wishing you could spend more time with them! Soon you can!

The Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017 goes before the Dail today and is expected to be unopposed. The Bill increases parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks. If a parent has already exhausted the 18 weeks they will be allowed to take the extra time. The Bill also looks to increase the eligible age of children from 8 to 12. 

Does it go far enough? Well it's a step in the right direction but we still need to address both parents taking family leave. The proposed increased parental leave is still unpaid. While Ireland did introduce 2 weeks paid paternity leave in 2016, the take up of that leave has not been as good as anticipated. This means we still have a cultural issue in our workplaces where it is not seen as acceptable for fathers to avail of parental and paternity leave. However in line with current EU reporting and thinking on family leave, the Irish government is looking at further paid family leave. There is potential that phased paid parental leave may be introduced in the next budget. Watch this space for more info as we get it! 

As an employer what does the new Bill mean for you? You need to monitor when the Bill becomes law (anticipated to be September) and update your policies and procedures accordingly. 

If you need help with any employment law matters in Ireland please contact the Lewis Silkin Ireland team - http://www.lewissilkin.com/Ireland/