New provisions under the Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2021 include:
An additional three weeks of paid Parents' Leave and Benefit to each parent to be taken in the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child.
All adopting couples will be able to choose which parent may avail of adoptive leave, including male same-sex couples who were previously precluded due to an anomaly in legislation.
Paternity Leave and Benefit will be made available to the parent who is not availing of adoptive leave.
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., today welcomed the passing of all stages of the Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2021.
Once the Bill is enacted, working parents will be entitled to an additional three weeks of paid Parent’s Leave for each parent, and the period in which the leave can be taken will be extended to the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child. The extension will allow parents to spend time with their child in the earliest years. It is non-transferrable between parents to ensure that both parents are encouraged and supported in taking time out from work to spend time with their child.
Adoptive parents will also be provided with greater flexibility to decide which parent will avail of adoptive leave and benefit, with paternity leave and benefit available to the parent not availing of adoptive leave. Fulfilling an important commitment in the Programme for Government, the Bill addresses access to adoptive leave and benefit by male same-sex couples, a provision that is of great significance for couples seeking to adopt.
The additional 3 weeks of parent’s leave is available to employees and the self-employed in respect of new babies born or children adopted after 1 November 2019. The associated benefit will be paid at the same rate as maternity, paternity and adoptive benefits.
Enactment of the Bill will take place shortly after the Bill is signed into law by the President.
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