Enacted into legislation in July 2023, the Act contains a new entitlement for employees to up to 5 days unpaid leave (in any period of 12 consecutive months) for serious medical care purposes, to provide personal care or support to certain specified persons, including: a child, spouse/civil partner, cohabitant, parent or grandparent, brother or sister or a person who resides in the same household as the employee, where any of those persons is in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason.
For the purposes of the Act, a person is considered to be “in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason”, where, owing to a person’s disability, injury or illness, they require such care and support that includes the presence of the employee at the place where the person is based. There is no service requirement needed to avail of this leave and the leave must be taken in periods of at least one day.
An employee who has taken or intends to take leave for medical care purposes, must as soon as reasonably practicable provide a signed confirmation of this to their employer. This confirmation must specify the date and duration of such leave and a statement of the facts entitling the employee to the leave. Their employer, on receipt of such confirmation, can request that the employee provide further information in relation to the employee’s relationship with the person who required care, the nature of the care required and relevant evidence relating to the need for significant care.
The law covering leave for medical care is the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023.
Unpaid leave for medical care is different to force majeure leave, which is paid leave for an urgent family crisis.
Download the request form here