Parents urged to be aware of new parental leave entitlements

Galway Daily news NUI Galway is surveying hundreds of parents on understanding children's behaviour

Parents in the county have been urged to be aware of their new parental leave entitlements ahead of changes that will come into effect next month.

From the 1st of September, parents will be entitled to an extra four weeks of unpaid parental leave, bringing the total period to 22 weeks.

Minister Ciaran Cannon urged parents not to miss out on their entitlements.

The Fine Gael TD said: “The period of unpaid parental leave will be extended from the current entitlement of 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1st September 2019.

“Further changes will come into place on 1st September 2020 when the unpaid parental leave entitlement will be extended to 26 weeks.

“The new measures allow any parent who has already availed of their current entitlement of 18 weeks to avail of a further eight weeks of parental leave. Parents can now apply to their employer for permission related to the first additional 4 weeks.”

Both mothers and fathers may apply for this leave and may be of particular benefit to parents that wish to take the unpaid leave when their children will be returning to school in September.

“The legislation also introduces an increase to the age of the child for which parental leave is available from 8 to 12 years,” added Minister Cannon.