Parents of new-borns will have seven weeks paid leave from August 2022 and nine weeks from August 2024 as new European Union rules to improve the work-life balance of workers take effect.

Currently parent’s leave entitles each parent to five weeks leave during the first two years of a child’s life.

Last year we wrote about the September 2020 increases to unpaid parental leave, with the leave increasing from 22 weeks to 26 weeks per parent per child under 12 years, or 16 where the child has a disability.

The Government’s commitment to the EU Work Life Balance Directive will extend the entitlement in two phases out to 2024. Parents availing of the leave can now also claim parent’s benefit of €245 a week provided they have adequate social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

The full-year cost of extending the benefit from five weeks to seven weeks – estimated at €14.6 million – was detailed in the Department of Finance’s tax strategy papers.

Last year, Mr O’Gorman said he is “committed to ensuring every child gets the best possible start in life and supporting parents to spend more time with their kids is a big part of that. I hope this five week paid parent’s leave will help mothers and fathers take that time in those precious first couple of years with their child,” he added.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has ensured her department has put in place the necessary IT requirements to facilitate the extension of the State welfare scheme.

The Department of Finance noted that the EU’s directive was part of a package of measures “to address under-representation of women in employment, and to support their career progression through improved conditions to reconcile their working and private duties.”


NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website, or email