Adoptive Leave Act 1995
An adopting mother or a sole male adopter who is in employment is entitled to a minimum of 24 weeks of adoptive leave from work beginning on the day of placement of the child. In addition to the minimum period an employee is entitled to avail of up to 16 additional weeks of leave. This leave is available at the request of the employee and follows immediately on the period of adoptive leave.
The 24 week period will attract a social welfare benefit in the majority of cases.
Entitlement to this leave is subject to notification requirements. An employee must give adequate notice, in writing, to his/her employer of his/her intention to take adoptive leave. The minimum advance notice of such an intention is 4 weeks before the expected placement of the child. Employees must inform employers in writing, the expected date of placement as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Return to Work:
There is a right to return to work after a period of adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave. An employee must also inform the employer, in writing, at least 4 weeks beforehand of the date on which S/He intends to return to work after adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave.
In the event of a dispute between an employer and an employee the matter should be referred to a Rights Commissioner in the first instance. There is then the right of appeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
A dismissal which results from an employee exercising their right to adoptive leave will be regarded as an unfair dismissal, unless there are substantial grounds justifying the dismissal. Redress in this case will be under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2003.