The Cabinet's new work-life balance laws will introduce unpaid leave for up to five days for any employee in Carlow and across Ireland who needs it to care for a sick relative.
It follows the introduction of the European Union’s Work Life Balance Directive, which outlines that working parents of children up to eight years old should be entitled to seek flexible working arrangements.
However, Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman is seeking to increase this to children under 12 as part of his legislation.
Under the Cabinet's proposed legislation, employees must give their employer six months’ notice if they need more flexible working arrangements to take care of a child or relative.
In addition, any parent of a child under 12, or a person caring for a relative, will have the right to request reduced or flexible working hours under the proposed new legislation.
According to the Irish Independent, Minister Gorman is bringing a memo to Cabinet this week outlining the new workers’ rights which will give employees more options.
The new legislation will also allow an employer will be able to request evidence of the medical need for the leave: this could involve employees providing their employers with the medical details of a family member.
An employee will be entitled to return to the role they were in prior to taking the leave.
However, the leave cannot be taken in periods of less than one day.
Other provisions of the legislation under Minister O' Gorman include allowing for women who transition into males, but subsequently give birth to a child, to be entitled to the same time off to breastfeed.
This will apply to transgender males who have obtained a gender recognition certificate under the Gender Recognition Act 2015.
The bill will also provide for leave from work for people who are victims of domestic abuse.
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