The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 was signed into law on 22 May 2019 and came into force at the beginning of this month. The Act introduces two major changes to the current system.
Firstly, parental leave entitlements have been extended and will now apply to children up to 12 years of age whereas previously it only applied to children up until the age of 8 (or up to 16 years if the child has a disability or long-term illness)
Secondly, the Act has introduced an additional 4 weeks parental leave for parents of children aged 12 and under. This brings the total parental leave available to 22 weeks per child. Parents who have used their previous entitlement of 18 weeks and whose children are still under the age of 12 will be entitled to apply for the additional 4 weeks now.
This figure is to be increased again in September 2020 to 26 weeks.