The Parental Leave Act also provides that an employee is entitled to leave with pay from his or her employment for urgent family reasons, owing to the injury or illness of any of the persons listed below: -

  • a child or adoptive child of the employee;
  • the spouse of the employee, or a person with whom the employee is living as husband or wife;
  • a person to whom the employee is in loco parentis;
  • a brother or sister of the employee;
  • a parent or grandparent of the employee;
  • persons in a relationship of domestic dependency , including same-sex partners.

And that the immediate presence of the employee is indispensable.

The employee shall therefore be entitled to “Force Majeure” leave.  This is paid leave, with a maximum of 3 days leave in 12 months or 5 days in a 36-month period.

  • Employees are required to submit a request to the employer as soon, as is reasonable and practicable, stating their relationship to the relative and the nature of the illness/injury. (Forms may include employee’s name, RSI No., employers name and address and also the name and address of the person to whom the leave relates.)
  • The notice must state the dates on which the leave was taken.
  • The employee must confirm that the emergency leave was taken due to urgent family reasons arising from the illness or injury and rendering the presence of the employee indispensable.
  • The employee must sign a declaration that the information is true and complete.
  • An employer must keep records of Parental leave and Force Majeure Leave taken by employees for 8 years.

Employees and employers are entitled to refer a dispute in relation to an entitlement under the Act to the Workplace Relations Commission. Disputes concerning the dismissal of an employee are dealt with under the provisions of the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2005.

A reference to the  Workplace Relations Commission concerning a dispute under the Act  must be made in writing within 6 months of the occurrence of the dispute. Regulations made under the Act set out the details to be provided in such a reference.


Either party may appeal a decision of the Workplace Relations Commission to the Labour Court.  This appeal must be lodged within 42 days.


The Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court may order redress, as they consider appropriate, comprising either or both of the following:

-           the granting of parental leave for a specified period to be taken at such time or  times   and in such manner as may be specified;

-           the payment to the employee by the employer of compensation not  exceeding 20            weeks' remuneration.


The Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court may direct either party to the dispute to do such things as are considered necessary or expedient for the resolution of the dispute.

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