No 104 The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015
These Regulations amend the Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999. The purpose of doing so is to remove the limitation on parental leave so that it may be taken at any time before a child’s eighteenth birthday.
The Regulations also amend the right to return after maternity and parent leave to reflect the introduction of shared parental leave by the Shared Parental Leave Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.
The effect will be that unpaid parental leave will be able to be taken at a point up a child’s 18th birthday, including immediately before, after or in between periods of other family-related leave. Extending to the child's eighteenth birthday the time until which an employee may exercise entitlement to take unpaid parental leave reflects the fact that caring responsibilities do not end when the child reaches five, or starts school.