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An employed adopting mother or sole male adopter is entitled to 14 consecutive weeks of unpaid adoptive leave and a further 8 weeks additional unpaid adoptive leave.

In general, the leave commences on the day of placement, but, in the case of a foreign adoption, some or all of the leave may be taken immediately before the day of placement.

Where an adopting mother dies, the adopting father is entitled to a period of leave equivalent to the outstanding balance of the adopting mother’s leave.

Employees must give at least 4 weeks written notice of:

• Taking adoptive leave
• Taking additional adoptive leave
• Returning to work
An employer is also entitled to be notified of the date of placement and given a certificate of placement as soon as is practicable.Social welfare benefit, if applicable, is available during adoptive leave.The employee has a right to return to the same job or suitable alternative.

Procedures and Enforcement:

Any dispute (within 6 months from the day of placement or within 6 months of first notification to intention to take leave – 12 months in”exceptional circumstances”) under the Act (other than a dismissal arising from the employers failure to allow the
employee to return to work – claim under Unfair Dismissals Acts) can be brought to a Rights Commissioner who can award up to 20 weeks remuneration or may give “such directions” as the Rights Commissioner ‘considers necessary or expedient for the resolution of the dispute’.

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