Legal Article - Employment Law

The Fallback Model Scheme

An employer can negotiate a collective agreement with an independent Trade Union, or a workforce or individual agreement with their employees on the “mechanics” of the scheme i.e. on how leave may be taken, the notice to be given by the employee and postponement provisions. If there is no local agreement, the law provides a fallback scheme which must be followed. The provisions are as described below.

Leave may be taken in blocks of one-week minimum (except for parents of disabled children) up to a maximum period of 4 weeks in any one year for each child.

The employee must give at least 21 days notice of taking leave, with start and finishing dates. The notice must specify the exact day on which parental leave will commence.
There is an exception to this requirement in respect of prospective fathers who want to take leave immediately following the birth of their child and of adoptive parents who want their leave to commence immediately a child is placed with them. In those circumstances it is the expected week of birth, or placement in the case of adoption, that must be given to the employer.

The employer can postpone leave where the needs of the business or the quality of a service make this necessary, taking into account the size of the firm or organisation.

Leave can be postponed to an agreed date, or to a suitable future period but cannot be postponed for more than six months. The dates of leave taken immediately after the birth of the child, or placement with the family for adoption, cannot be postponed by the employer.
There is no statutory requirement to keep records.

Published: 27 May 2011


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