A guide to the parent's leave scheme for second-level teachers in Ireland.
Entitlement to Parent’s Leave
A teacher, who is a relevant parent of a child born or adopted, on or after 1st November 2019, is entitled to a maximum of 5 weeks Parent’s Leave.
From 1st November 2019, an eligible teacher had an entitlement of 2 weeks Parent’s Leave. From 1st April, 2021, this entitlement increased by a further 3 weeks. Where a teacher has already availed of their 2 week entitlement, they may apply to their employer for an additional 3 weeks from 1st April, 2021 provided the eligibility criteria are met.
This leave can be taken within 24 months from the date of birth of the child or in the case of adoption, the day of placement of the child except in the case of postponement where the leave can be extended beyond the 24 month period.
Parent’s Leave can be taken as a continuous period of 5 weeks (i.e. 35 consecutive days including weekends, school closures and days on which a teacher is not timetabled for attendance within that period) or alternatively in blocks of at least 1 week up to a maximum of 5 weeks. This rule also applies to Job-Sharing teachers.
Where the birth of a child is part of a multiple birth or a teacher adopts two or more children at the same time, he/she is not entitled to more than 5 weeks Parent’s Leave.
Pay Arrangements and Parent’s Benefit
Remuneration will not be paid by the Paymaster during the period of Parent’s Leave.
Under the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act, 2019, a teacher (including those paying Class A and Class D PRSI contributions) may be entitled to Parent’s Benefit from the DSP during this period of leave.
In order to avail of Parent’s Benefit, the teacher must make an online application by logging on to: services.mywelfare.ie/en/topics/parents-children-family/parents-benefit/.
This online application must be submitted by the teacher to the DSP at least 4 weeks prior to the leave commencement date.
Parent’s Benefit payment is a taxable income.
Application for Parent’s Leave should be made by the teacher to his/her employer at least 6 weeks prior to the planned commencement date using the Application Form located at Appendix A of Circular letter 0030/2021.
A teacher who is applying for separate blocks of Parent’s Leave may submit a separate Application Form(s) where all relevant dates have not been determined at that time of initial application.
Sequence of Leave Types
The following is the sequence in which leave types must be taken, where these leaves are availed of:
- Statutory Maternity Leave (including Statutory extended Maternity Leave for premature birth and Statutory additional Unpaid Maternity Leave)
- Statutory Adoptive Leave (including Statutory additional Unpaid Adoptive Leave)
- Non-Statutory additional Unpaid Maternity/Adoptive Leave (until the end of the school year)
- Transferred Paternity Leave
- Father’s Leave
Status during Parent’s Leave
A teacher on Parent’s Leave is deemed for all purposes to be in employment at that time with the exception of superannuation and remuneration. Parent’s Leave is fully reckonable for seniority and progression on the incremental salary scale.
For full details on the Parent leave scheme – please refer to circular letter 0030/2021.