This policy is non-contractual and does not form part of your terms and conditions of employment and may be varied or withdrawn at any time without notice. However, this is not applicable to any statutory rights you may have.
The company is committed to support employees as parents, and to help them balance their family and professional commitments. The purpose of this policy is to allow parents to care for, and spend time with, their children. It is not meant for emergencies, which require urgent leave to be taken at short notice (please see Force Majeure Policy). Both parents may take parental leave.
All colleagues, Ireland and Kelly Secondment Employees (KSEs).
Employees who have a minimum of 1 years’ continuous service with the company are entitled to take parental leave. Where the child is very near the age threshold, an employee who has more than 3 months service, but less than 1 year, is eligible to accrue parental leave at a rate of one week per month of completed service at the time of commencement of leave.
Employees must also fulfil one of the following criteria to be eligible for parental leave:
He/she is the natural parent of the child or have formal parental responsibility (i.e. be in loco parentis) of a child who is under 8 years of age (16 if disabled), or
He/she is the adoptive parent of a child under the age of 8. If the child was between 6 and 8 years at the date of the adoption order, the entitlement to take parental leave lasts for 2 years from that date.
If an employee moves to a new employer and has used part of his/her parental leave entitlement, they may use the remainder after one year’s employment with the new employer providing the child is still under the qualifying age.
Employees who satisfy the above criteria are entitled to take a period of 18 working weeks’ parental leave for each child. Where an employee has more than one child, the entitlement is limited to 18 weeks in a 12 month period.
Parental leave can be taken as a continuous 18 week period or separate blocks of a minimum of 6 weeks.
Where parental leave is taken in 2 separate blocks, there must be a gap of at least 10 weeks between the 2 periods per child. The leave may also be broken up over a period of time with the company’s consent.
Each parent has a separate entitlement to parental leave. However where both parents work for the company, parental leave entitlement may be transferred between parents. There is no legal entitlement to this.
Any period of Parental Leave will be unpaid leave and there are no entitlements to any social welfare payment equivalents for this type of leave.
The following notification procedure should be followed by all employees:
1. Proof of the child’s age should be presented by the employee to their Line Managers and the HR team, i.e. birth certificate, adoption certificate.
2. Employees should give written notice to their direct Line Manager of their intention to take parental leave, with details of the start and end date of the parental leave period. The notice period should be given at least 6 weeks before the leave is due to start.
The employee will receive written confirmation or refusal of the leave not less than four weeks before the intended start date of parental leave. Where the parental leave application is confirmed, both the company and the employee will sign confirmation documentation.
It is the responsibility of Line Managers to inform the HR team of each instance of parental leave.
_Postponement of Parental Leave
The company may postpone parental leave for up to six months if an employee’s Line Manager believes that it will have a detrimental effect on the business. The employee will be notified in writing at least 4 weeks before the intended start date of parental leave. When there is need for the parental leave to be postponed, an alternative date will be suggested to the employee at the time. Postponement must be done before any confirmation documentation is signed by both the company and the employee.
Parental leave can be postponed for two periods of 6 months in specific circumstances.
If an application for parental leave is requested immediately after the birth or adoption of a child, then leave cannot be postponed.
If an employee is dissatisfied with the Line Manager’s decision, he or she will have the right to raise the matter in accordance with the company’s Grievance Policy and Procedure.
Please note that the company is obliged to keep records of all parental leave taken by employees including length of employment, and the dates of parental leave taken. Such records will be kept for 8 years.
_Employment Rights while on Parental Leave
With the exception of remuneration from the company and benefits from the state, an employee taking a period of parental leave retains the same employment rights as if present at work.
An employee’s annual leave and public holiday entitlement will continue to accrue whilst on parental leave. If your annual holidays fall due during parental leave, they may be taken at a later time. A public holiday that falls while an employee is on parental leave and on a day when they would normally be working is added to the end of the period of parental leave.
_Returning to Work
An employee is entitled to return to his/her job after parental leave unless it is not reasonably practicable. In this event the employee is entitled to suitable alternative employment i.e. on terms and conditions that are not substantially less favourable than those of the original position, including changes in pay or conditions which occurred while the employee was on parental leave.