An employee was granted 18 weeks parental leave by her employer in relation to her 6 year old child in 2016. She has enquired if she is entitled to any additional parental leave in relation to this child from September 2019.
Currently, an employee is entitled to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave in respect of each qualifying child (i.e. a child who is under 8 years of age). From 1st September 2019 parental leave will increase by 4 weeks to 22 weeks and the age threshold for the child will increase from 8 to 12 years. An employee can avail of any outstanding balance of parental leave up to an overall maximum of 22 weeks from 1st September 2019 assuming the child is under 12 years. Where a child has a disability or long term illness, an upper age limit of 16 applies.