If your child needs full-time care, you may be able to take carer’s leave (temporary unpaid leave from employment) while preserving your employment rights. In order to qualify, you must have been in continuous employment for at least a year.
The minimum period for which you can take carer’s leave is 13 weeks and the maximum period is 104 weeks (two years). If you do not take carer’s leave in one continuous block, there must be a gap of at least six weeks between the blocks. However, you and your employer may agree arrangements which are more favourable to you. Your employer may refuse (on reasonable grounds) to allow you take a period of carer’s leave which is less than 13 weeks long. The grounds for refusal must be specified in writing. You must give your employer at least six weeks’ notice of your intention to take carer’s leave.
This leave is unpaid but you may be able to qualify for Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance. If you do not qualify for Carer’s Benefit or Allowance while on carer’s leave, you are entitled to carer’s leave credits (credited PRSI contributions) in respect of each week taken, up to a maximum of 104 weeks.
While on Carer’s Leave you are allowed to work up to 15 hours per week and retain your social welfare entitlements.