Types of Parental Leave in Ireland

Maternity Leave

You can take 26 weeks’ paid maternity leave, and up to further 16 weeks unpaid leave. You must take 2 weeks before your baby is due, and at least 4 weeks after.

Paternity Leave

If you are the parent other than the mother of the child, you can take 2 weeks’ statutory Paternity Leave at any time in the 26 weeks following the birth or adoption of the child.

Parent’s Leave

Parent’s Leave entitles each parent to 2 weeks’ leave during the first year of a child’s life, or within one year of the placement of an adopted child. This Parental Leave is in addition to the parents’ entitlement to Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave & Adoptive Leave.

Parental Leave

Parental Leave is an entitlement for parents to take up to 22 weeks unpaid leave from work to spend time looking after their children before their 12th birthday. 

The leave is calculated as per eligible child, but if you have more than one child, the leave is limited to 18 weeks in a 12 month period.

Adoptive Leave

The mother of an adopted child, or the father in cases of single parent adoption, can take 24 weeks of Adoptive Leave, and an additional 16 weeks’ unpaid leave.

Force Majeure Leave

This is a limited right for an employee to take paid leave from work, where for urgent family reasons, the employee must be immediately present with family. You can take a maximum of 3 days in a 12 month period, or 5 days in a 36 month period.

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Impartial professional financial advice helps you make a better decision that gives you better options and saves you money for the rest of your life. 

How we can help you

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  • Protecting your family.

Who Can Apply for Parental Leave in Ireland?

Type of Parental Leave State Benefit Available? For How Long?
Maternity Leave Yes 26 weeks paid, a further 16 weeks unpaid is available
Paternity Leave Yes 2 weeks paid
Parent’s Leave Yes 2 weeks paid
Parental Leave No 22 weeks
Adoptive Leave Yes 24 weeks paid, a further 16 weeks unpaid is available
Force Majeure Leave Yes 3 days

Type of Parental Leave



Maternity Leave Yes Yes
Paternity Leave Yes Yes
Parent’s Leave Yes Yes
Parental Leave Yes No
Adoptive Leave Yes Yes
Force Majeure Leave Yes No

Who Pays For It?

State Benefits are available for some forms of Parental Leave, and individual employee contracts may provide for payment under these circumstances. Claiming various benefits such as Maternity Benefit and Paternity Benefit will depend on your own PRSI contributions. 

How Do I Apply For It?

For Employees?

To avail of State Benefits, apply at least 6 weeks before you intend to take it, and tell your employer at the same time.

For the Self-Employed?

To avail of State Benefits, apply for your benefit at least 12 weeks before you intend to take your leave.

Parental Leave & Your Finances:

The average benefit payment for these types of leave is €245 per week.

If you rely on this benefit for the full 26 months, you will receive €6,370, which is substantially lower than the average wage. If you can’t meet your costs with €245 per week, you may have a difficult decision to make about the length of leave you can take. 

Alternatively, you can work with a Financial Advisor for a plan to help you save for your Parental Leave. Whether you’re planning long-term, or it’s come as a surprise, an Advisor can help you look long-term at your finances, and help you prepare for the next chapter of your life.

About Debbie Cheevers

Debbie qualified as APA in 2017 and a fully qualified financial advisor (QFA) in 2018. She believes that product knowledge is key to helping customers make the right choices.