Parents Leave Policy

Policy Owner
Human Resources
Document Type
Document Approval Date
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The purpose of Parents’ Leave is to entitle a working parent to two weeks paid leave from work to enable them to take care of their child in accordance with Parent’s Leave and Benefits Acts 2019. It is a statutory leave type separate to Maternity Leave, Parental Leave and/or Paternity Leave.

This policy specifies the arrangements in place at Dublin City University for the administration, monitoring and application of Parent’s Leave Policy.   

This policy applies to all eligible Relevant Parents who are in the employment of Dublin City University if their child(ren) are born or adopted after 1st November 2019.  A pro-rata entitlement is applied for staff who do not work full time.

Relevant Parent - defined under the Parent’s Leave and Benefits Acts 2019 as one of the following:

  • a parent of the child;
  • a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the parent of the child;
  • a parent of a donor-conceived child as provided for under section 5 of the Children and family Relationships Act 2015;
  • the adopting parent or parents of a child;
  • the spouse or civil partner of the adopting parent of the child (if the parents have not adopted the child together).
Entitlements and Conditions

Each Relevant Parent is entitled to 5 weeks leave per child and to receive a Statutory Benefit for each child born/adopted after the 1st of November 2019. 

The leave must be taken within the first two years of the child’s birth, or in the case of an adopted child within the first two years of the child’s placement.

In the case of a multiple birth, or when a person adopts two or more children at the same time, the total entitlement to Parent’s leave shall not exceed five weeks.

Parents leave entitlement is extended to persons acting in loco parentis in respect of a child.

Manner in which Statutory Parent’s Leave may be taken

Parent’s leave must be taken either as one continuous period of 5 weeks leave or separate periods of not less than one week at a time within the first 2 years of a child’s life or in the case of adoption, within 2 years of the placement of the child.

Accrued public holiday entitlement, must be taken immediately following the Parent’s leave.

An employee on maternity leave may take their parent’s leave once their standard maternity leave has concluded. If the employee avails of additional maternity leave, they may take the parent’s leave after both have concluded.

Each parent has a separate entitlement to Parent’s Leave from their job, however, Parent’s leave is non-transferable between employees of the University who are relevant parents.


If there is an adverse effect on the operations of the Faculty/School/Unit, the University can postpone Parent’s leave for up to 12 weeks in accordance with the Acts.  This will be discussed with the employee at the time and the reason/s in writing will be provided. Parent’s leave will not be lost if, solely as a result of postponement, the child reaches the age threshold.

Postponement Defined Reasons
  • Seasonal variations
  • Unavailability of person to perform duties
  • Nature of duties
  • Number of employees
  • Number of employees on Family Friendly Leave
  • Other relevant matters.

Seasonal Variations is the only grounds for postponing more than once.

The Employee

The employee will discuss the request for Parent’s Leave with their Line Manager in the first instance. 

A formal application, which includes the signature of the Line Manager, together with the child’s birth certificate (or equivalent for an adopted child), must be submitted to the HR Department no less than 6 weeks in advance of the start date of the leave.

The Line Manager

The Line Manager will discuss the employee’s request for leave with the HR Department and will sign the Parent’s Leave Form to indicate their support of the application.

The Line Manager will be mindful of the following factors when considering the Parental Leave Application:

  • the business needs of the unit in relation to the timing of the leave request; &
  • the number of employees availing of Family Friendly leave types at a particular time.
The HR Department

The HR Operations Manager or his/her nominee will have responsibility for the final approval of the request for Parent’s Leave. 

The HR Department will issue the employee with a letter confirming the approval of the Parent’s Leave arrangement. 

Copies of the signed documentation are held electronically on the employee’s record.

Employment Rights during Parent’s Leave

The employees’ rights are protected while availing of Parent’s Leave; public holiday entitlements will accrue while on leave, service will be unbroken and increments will apply.

All employees are entitled to return to their own position at the end of the Parent’s Leave.

In the case of an employee who is on probation at the start of the Parent’s Leave, their probationary period will be extended to cover the leave period.

Service accrued during Parental Leave is not counted for Superannuation/Pension benefit purposes.

Absence on Parent’s Leave cannot be treated as part of any other form of leave, including sick leave, annual leave, adoptive leave, maternity leave, force majeure leave and parental leave to which the employee is entitled.

The University will request Birth Certificates and other official documents if appropriate in the case of applications for Parent’s Leave.

Payment during Parent’s Leave

Parent’s Leave is unpaid by the University, however, employees may be entitled to Parent’s Benefit from Social Welfare subject to the appropriate number of PRSI contributions. Information relating to Parent’s Benefit is available under Appendix C.

  • Appendix A – Application and Approval Process
  • Appendix B – Notes on Income Continuance Protection and Social Welfare arrangements
  • Appendix C – How to claim Parent’s Benefit from Social Welfare

Information and Parent’s Leave Request Forms are available from


  • by contacting the HR Business Partner Team at this link.

This policy will be reviewed subject to legislative changes.

Document Name

Parents Leave Policy 

Unit Owner

Human Resources

Version Reference

Reviewed Version 1.1

Approved by

Director of Human Resources


April 30th 2021

Application and Approval Process

An employee of the University who is a relevant parent, as defined within the Parent’s Leave Policy, is entitled to five weeks parent’s leave for each child within the first two years of the child’s birth/placement of adoption.

Notice to Take Leave:

The employee must formally request Parent’s leave at least six weeks in advance of the start date of the leave.  


  1. All applications for Parent’s leave must be made using the Parent’s Leave Form, available at:
  2. The Form must be completed, signed by the Head of School/Unit, and returned to the HR Department, along with the necessary birth certificate/adoption order, no later than six weeks before the proposed commencement of the leave.
  3. The HR Department will produce a Confirmation Document for the employee to sign 4 weeks      prior to leave. This will confirm the start date, duration and manner in which the leave will be taken e.g. continuous block of two weeks or two one week blocks.
  4. Leave cannot commence prior to the employee receiving the formal Confirmation Document.
  5. All documents must be sent to the employee with a copy kept by both the university and employee.

Note: In the event that the agreed parent’s leave period is changed, Human Resources must be notified in writing immediately as this can affect the payment of salaries to the employee.

Pay Related Social Insurance Contributions (PRSI)

Parents who take parent’s leave may get a PRSI credit for each week taken. If you are taking parent’s leave in block form, the HR Department will write to the Records Update Section of Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), setting out the weeks you have not worked, so that you can get credited PRSI contributions for this time.

Income Continuance Plan (ICP) and Parent’s Leave

Membership of the DCU Group Income Continuance Plan will continue as normal.  No contributions will be required during the period of your parent’s leave and full cover will be maintained for a period of 5 weeks.

Parent's Benefit is paid by the Department of Social Protection. Applications for Parents Benefit can be made online at

  • This requires the employee to have a verified MyGovID account to use
  • Please visit to get a verified MyGovID account. The staff member will need the child’s PPSN to complete the application. If the staff member is unable to apply online, the Parent’s Benefit application form can be requested from the Parent’s Benefit Section by email at or by calling 1890 690 690.
  • For further information please visit