In many of the Employment Law Update Webinars that we deliver at Adare Human Resource Management, one of the most frequently asked questions is regarding the status of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provision Bill 2022 (Bill). It was expected that the Bill would be delivered by the end of 2022 but there has been some delay. As of March 30th the Bill is now at the Final Stage of the Seanad Eireann awaiting the President’s signature to be enacted.

Employers should examine and revise their current family and caregiving leave policies to ensure adherence to both existing and upcoming legislation. In this article we explore some of the new leave types in the Bill, these entitlements will need to be incorporated into the appropriate policies and procedures and Employee contracts.

History of the Bill

The Bill was brought to Cabinet back on 21st of April 2022, with the aim of giving effect to an EU Work Life Balance Directive. The Bill proposed a number of legislative changes designed to allow for a better work-life balance for parents and carers, to encourage more equal sharing of parental responsibilities between men and women and to try and improve the representation of women in the labour market. Key features of the Bill were to give parents and carers the right to request flexible work, additional leave for medical care reasons and the extension of breaks for breastfeeding parents. There have been several additional components added to the Bill since, such as the Right to Request remote working and Domestic Violence Leave.

Domestic violence leave

In September 2022, the Bill saw the introduction of paid leave for victims of domestic violence. The Government will also put in place supports for employers to assist them in developing domestic violence workplace policies and to better support employees experiencing domestic violence.

Right to Request Remote Working

Then on the 9th of Nov 2022, we saw the integration of the ‘Right to Request Remote Working Bill’ into the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill. Under the integrated Bill, Remote Working is defined as one type of flexible working and all Employees will have a right to request remote working. The right to request any other type of flexible working, such as reduced hours, will remain limited to Parents and Carers, as defined in the Bill.

There is a requirement for Employers to maintain a policy on remote work which can be inspected by employees or the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) if necessary. If an employer fails to bring to the attention of its employees, the established and maintained Remote Working Policy required, they could be fined and liable to pay a fee, currently €2,500. The maximum compensation an employee can receive in respect of claims under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 specifically for noncompliance, shall not exceed 4 weeks’ pay.

Overview of Leave Types

In the table below we share some of the existing Leave types of parents and carers then we outline some of the proposed Leave types and changes to existing leave outlined in the Bill that you should be aware of.

Ireland’s current Maternity, Paternity, Parental, Carer’s and Parent’s Leave
Leave Who can avail of it Length & Paid/ Unpaid
Paternity Leave
  • The father of the child
  • The partner (spouse, civil partner or cohabitant) of the mother of the child
  • The parent of a donor-conceived child
2 weeks – Paid, Paternity Benefit
Maternity Leave Female employees immediately before and after the birth of their child 26 weeks- Paid Maternity Benefit
Parental Leave Parents and guardians of children under 12 years. This means you are either a parent, an adoptive parent, or a person acting in ‘loco parentis’ (acting as a parent to the child) 26 weeks – Unpaid
Carer’s Leave A person who is caring for someone who needs full-time care and attention to:

  • Keep them safe and help them throughout the day with their normal personal needs, such as eating, drinking, washing and dressing, or
  • Protect them from being a danger to themselves
Min 13 weeks – Max 104 weeks – Unpaid but an application can be made to the relevant State Department for Carer’s Benefit subject to qualifying criteria
Parent’s Leave Currently parents of children under 2 years 7 weeks – Paid, Parent’s Benefit
Adoptive Leave A qualified adopter is either:

  • The sole adopter, in the case of a parent who is adopting a child on their own, or
  • The nominated parent in the case of an adopting couple
24 weeks from date of placement – Paid Adoptive benefit


New Leave Types and Extensions under the Work Life Balance Bill
Leave Who can avail of it Length & Paid/ Unpaid
Domestic Violence Leave Any employee affected by domestic violence 5 days – Yes,
Benefit will be paid (rate TBC)
Medical Care Leave Any employee providing personal care or support to certain persons that require significant care for serious medical reasons. 5 days – Unpaid
Flexible Working Conditions All Employees after 6 months of employment caring for children under 12 (or 16 if the child has a disability or long-term illness) Terms of reduced/adjusted hours to be agreed per Company – Unpaid
Extended Right to Maternity Leave Pregnant transgender male with a gender recognition certificate 26 weeks – Yes,
Maternity Benefit paid
Extended Period of Leave for Breastfeeding Employees that are Breastfeeding Extended to 104 weeks from 26 weeks – Yes
Employee entitled to 1 hour per day paid leave


We will keep you informed of updates on the timeline of enactment of the Bill. Our best advice right now is to ensure you are familiar with the proposed changes and that Businesses review their existing policies and prepare drafts, to be ready for the upcoming changes which we expect to be enacted in the coming weeks.

If you want more information on the provisions of the Work Life Balance Bill and 2023 Employment Law updates, join our next webinar on 6th of April, 11am-12pm.

Register Here

If you need support preparing for these upcoming changes please do contact our experts in Adare Human Resource Management on 01 561 3594 / 061 363 805 or email