Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Carer's Leave Entitlements
319. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if a parent of a Down syndrome child that has availed of 104 weeks carer's leave can have the entitlement of their spouse to carer's leave transferred to them in view of the fact their spouse is unable to avail of leave from their employment due to the nature of their job; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2914/20]
Section 6 of the Carers Leave Act 2001 provides that employees with at least one year's continuous service are entitled to take up to 104 weeks of carers leave. Currently, there is no provision to transfer the entitlement to carer’s leave.
While there are no plans to amend the Carer's Leave Act, the Government is very cognisant of the needs of families and in the last number of years it has introduced a range of legislative reforms that are aimed at enabling parents to spend more time with their children. For example, from 1 September 2016, under the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act, fathers are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave and benefit. From 1 October 2017, the duration of maternity leave and benefit has been extended in cases where a baby is born prematurely. From 1 November 2019, under the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act, new parents are entitled to two weeks each of parent’s leave and benefit, to be taken within the first year of a child’s life. On 1 September 2019, under the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act, unpaid parental leave was increased from 18 weeks to 26 weeks.