President Michael D. Higgins signed into law The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions, Act 2023 on 4 April 2023. Covered in our recent Webinar on Employment law Updates, this topical employment question has now been finally passed which allows measures to be introduced that support Employees in balancing their family life, work life, and caring responsibilities.

It will however still take a number of months before the various provisions of the Act come into effect. The Work Relations Commission (WRC) will also publish its own separate Code of Practice providing Employers additional information on the Right to Request Remote Working.

In the meantime, Employers should examine and revise their current family and caregiving leave policies to ensure adherence to the upcoming legislation. In this article we explore some of the new leave types in the Act, 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.

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. An Employer who fails to maintain records on remote working arrangements in the manner prescribed an/ or for a period of 3 years, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a class C fine.

Overview of Leave Types

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

New Leave Types and Extensions under the Work Life Balance & Miscellaneous Provisions Act

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)
Leave for Medical Care Purposes Any Employee providing personal care or support to certain persons that require significant care for serious medical reasons. 5 days – unpaid
Flexible Working Arrangements for Caring Purposes All Employees caring for children under 12 (or 16 if the child has a disability or long-term illness) or an Employee who is or will be providing person care or support to a person described in the Act, where each Employee’s approved flexible working arrangement commences after the Employee concerned has completed 6 months continuous employment with the Employer concerned. Terms of reduced/adjusted hours to be agreed per Company/
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
Right to Request Remote Working An Employee’s approved remote working arrangement shall not commence before a time when the Employee concerned has completed 6 months continuous employment with the Employer concerned. As agreed


We will keep you informed of updates on the timeline of enactment of the various provisions of the Act, but indicators from Minister Roderic O’Gorman have highlighted that paid leave for victims of domestic abuse, the right to request flexible working arrangements for the purpose of caring for family members and the right to request remote working should be in place by the Autumn. The rate of pay for domestic violence leave is still to be decided and the Code of Practice in relation to the right to request remote working still needs to be developed in the Workplace Relations Commission. Our best advice right now is to ensure you are familiar with the proposed changes and that Organisations review their existing policies and prepare drafts, to be ready for the upcoming changes.

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