Adoptive Leave in Ireland
This is covered by the Adoptive Leave Acts 1995 – 2005. Under the acts, females in employment and in restricted circumstances male employees can take time off when adopting a child subject to the conditions laid down in the acts being met.
What are the requirements and entitlements under the Adoptive Leave Acts?
You must be a female and employed or a sole male adaptor in order to qualify for a minimum of 24 consecutive weeks adoptive leave from work. This starts on the date the child is placed with its adoptive parent. You may take additional leave of up to 16 weeks.
You are entitled to paid time off work to attend required classes and pre-adoption meetings with social workers.
Will I be paid while on adoptive leave?
Unless your contract or terms of employment provide for it, you are not entitled to receive pay from your employer. See below for details of social welfare payments.
How to apply for adoptive leave
You must give a minimum of 4 weeks written notice to your employer outlining your intention to avail of adoptive leave and the commencement date. When the child is placed with you it is necessary to give a certificate of placement within four weeks of date of placement.
Can I receive a Social Welfare payment while on adoptive leave?
You may qualify for Adoptive benefit if you have sufficient PRSI contributions. You must apply to the Adoptive benefit section of the Department of Social Protection at least 5 weeks before you commence your adoptive leave. Adoptive leave commences from the date of placement of the child. This means that you will not get the full 24 weeks payment if your adoptive leave commences after the date of placement. The best option is to commence your adoptive leave on the date of placement, that way you will get the full payment. See below for application form.
Adoptive Benefit AB1 Application form Download here
What about my employment rights?
You are entitled to any public holidays which occur during your leave. Annual leave and seniority are protected. You will get PRSI credits while on adoptive leave.
Returning to work
You have the right to return to work. You must give a minimum of 4 weeks notice of your intention to return to work from adoptive leave. Mark the date to give the advance notice in your diary and don't overlook it.
Your employer must offer you the job you had at the time of commencing adoptive leave, or a similar one, if this should prove unreasonable.
You are protected from unfair dismissal and victimisation for claiming your rights to adoptive leave.
You can download a leaflet explaining your adoptive leave rights
Guide to the Adoptive Leave Acts, Download here
Where can I get help?
If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed or victimised because you took adoptive leave you should seek professional advice. We have over thirty five years experience of employment law in Ireland. We can help prepare a claim to the Workplace Relations Commission. Remember there is a six month time limit. Don't delay.
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