Part-time child care leave

Part-time child care leave

Part-time child care leave refers to reducing an employee’s daily or weekly working hours in order to give them a healthier work–life balance. Employees become entitled to part-time child care leave when they have been working for the same employer for a total of at least six months in the previous 12-month period.

Arrangements for part-time child care leave are agreed between the employer and the employee.

Part-time child care leave can be taken at any time after eligibility for a parental allowance ends until the end of the child’s second year of school (end of July). In the case of disabled children who start school earlier, eligibility for part-time child care leave continues until the end of the child’s third year of school. Parents of severely disabled or chronically ill children who require special care are entitled to part-time child care leave until the child’s 18th birthday.

Part-time child care leave can be taken in multiple blocks. Only one of the child’s parents or guardians can be on part-time child care leave at a time. However, one can look after the child in the mornings and the other in the afternoons, or the parents or guardians can be on part-time child care leave during alternate weeks.

Arrangements are agreed in the workplace

The practical aspects of part-time child care leave are agreed on a case-by-case basis between the employer and the employee. Issues to discuss include, among others, whether it should be the employee’s daily working hours or the number of working days per week that are reduced.

If agreement cannot be reached on the details of the arrangement, the employee is entitled to one block of child care leave during each calendar year. The employee is free to choose the length and timing of their leave. In these circumstances, the employee’s daily working hours are always cut down to six consecutive hours of work, excluding breaks. If the employee’s working hours are calculated on the basis of an average, they must be reduced to an average of 30 hours per week.

Part-time child care leave is always subject to an agreement between the employer and the employee. If the employer refuses to grant leave, the employee is entitled to know the reasons for their refusal. Employers can only refuse to grant leave if the arrangement would cause considerable inconvenience.