New legislation will give workers 5 days off to care for relatives 11 months ago

New legislation will give workers 5 days off to care for relatives

Radical new work-life balance laws coming to Cabinet will include 5 days off to care for children or family members.

The Independent reports that Minister for Children, Roderic O'Gorman will bring a memo about the new regulations to the cabinet this week.


The law will highlight 5 days of unpaid leave for parents caring for sick children. However, the leave will be available to any employee who needs to take time off in order to care for a family member.

The new laws come following Tanáiste Leo Varadkar's introduction of the right to request flexible working from home hours, along with the EU's Work-Life Balance Directive. Although there are many grounds that employers can deny these requests. 

The Directive states that employees who have young children or care for relatives should be entitled to access more flexible working hours. 


As well as the 5 unpaid days of leave, any parent caring for a child under the age of 12 or those caring for a relative on an ongoing basis will have the right to request reduced or flexible working hours from their employer.

In order to apply for this scheme, employees must give their employer 6 months' notice. Following this, the employer has four weeks to respond to the request. 

If the request is denied or postponed the employer will be obliged to explain this decision to the employee along with their reasoning. 

In contrast, employees will not need to give advance notice of the need to care for a child or relative for the 5 leave days. They may, however, be required to provide evidence of the illness. 


The leave can also not be taken in less than a full day, meaning it won't apply in cases such as needing a half-day to pick up a sick child or relative. 

The bill will also increase entitled time for mothers who are breastfeeding from 1 hour paid every day for 6 months to 1 hour paid for two years. 

Under the new proposed legislation leave for victims of domestic abuse will also be included. 


The legislation will be debated by the cabinet when it is presented by Minister Gorman tomorrow. 

Feature image via Sam Boal,