Maternity Leave etc.

Ireland has a social protection programme including maternity leave and other family friendly leaves to support women to reconcile work and family life.

The Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004 are particularly relevant and contain
provisions in relation to:

• time off for ante-natal and post-natal care
• time off for ante-natal classes
• health and safety leave
• 26 weeks maternity leave
•16 weeks additional maternity leave
• termination of additional maternity leave in the event of sickness of mother
• postponement of leave in event of hospitalisation of child
• father’s leave in the event of the death of mother
• termination of leave in event of sickness of father
• time off from work or reduction of working hours for breastfeeding
• protection of certain employment rights
• right to return to work after leave
• protection against dismissal
• a mechanism for the resolution of disputes and appeals regarding entitlements under the Act.


Benefits and entitlements relating to birth

Your Maternity Leave Rights Explained

Maternity Protection Act, 1994

Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004

Maternity Leave Directive - DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Council Directive 92/85/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding - Maternity Directive