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EYES Update 18 June 2019

EYES Update 18 June 2019

Early Childhood Ireland’s Early Years Employer Service (EYES) can be contacted Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, by phone on (01) 405 7103 or by email on eyes@earlychildhoodireland.ie. The EYES team is here to help with a range of issues related to the running of an early years and school aged service.  If you have a query outside of these hours, please send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Extension to Parental Leave – What does it mean?

Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 was signed in to law by the President on 22 May this year.

Therefore, the main changes are as follows:

  • The amount of UNPAID leave to be made available to employees (who are a relevant person as defined by the Act) will increase from 18 weeks to 22 weeks in September of this year and then to 26 weeks by September 2020.
  • The legislation increases the age of the child up to which parental leave can be taken from 8 years to 12 years.
  • Employees who have already availed or are availing of the 18 weeks for a child/children up to 8 year of age, will be entitled to the additional weeks.

You can read the full text of the Act here

 

What do services as employers have to do?

When there is a change in legislation it is always a good idea to review and update your policies in line with those changes. As part of that review, it is advisable to update your own process to ensure it is still fit for purpose and reflects your current practice. The main things to consider are:

  • The amount of leave detailed in the policy reflects the amounts as per the new legislation
  • The age of the child is increased to 12 years of age (or if the child concerned has a disability, the leave must be taken before the child reaches 16 years of age or ceases to have that disability or any other disability (whichever occurs first) )
  • Detail the minimum employment service that employee must have to avail of parental leave (currently one year, but where the child is nearing 12 (or 16 if the child has a disability) and the employee has more than three months, but less than one year’s service with the employer, s/he shall be entitled to pro rata parental leave)
  • How employees will be permitted to take the leave. The leave can be taken in one continuous or two separate blocks or where you agree, the employee can separate the leave into periods of days or even hours
  • Set out what the employee needs to do to apply for the leave
  • Detail how you will communicate acceptance of leave with employee. Apart from a refusal on the grounds on non-entitlement, an employer may also postpone the leave for up to 6 months
  • What will happen if the employer suspects there is an abuse of parental leave
  • Obligations of employee regarding notification of return to work
  • How return to work will be managed
  • What will happen in circumstances where it is not possible for employee to return to job held prior to taking parental leave and suitable alternative work is being offered
  • Since 8 March 2013, on return to work after taking parental leave, an employee is entitled to ask for a change in work pattern or working hours for a set period. The employer must consider this request but is not obliged to grant it.
  • Details of what employee can do if they have a grievance relating to parental leave

Finally, a new paid Parental Leave Scheme is (expected from November 2019)  that allows parents to take two weeks paid leave each during their child’s first year.

 

Administration of Medication – Prescriptions

With the school year finishing and planning for the new year already beginning in earnest, some thought should be given to your procedures and policy around the administration of medication. This policy should, amongst other things, set out the procedures for handling children’s prescriptions and how these should be labelled.

Children’s prescriptions should come in their original container, labelled with the child’s name, type of medicine and dosage details. Ensuring this will reduce the risk of administering incorrect dosages or administering medication to the wrong child. If there are contraindications or adverse reactions with a child, then the medical information is clearly available to pass on to first aiders or medical personnel. Your policy, and particularly this provision within, should be communicated to parents and medicine that does not follow this should not be handled by the service.

Parents should sign a consent form before any prescription medicine is administered to a child, and once medication is administered parents should sign the Record of Medicine Administered.

 

Programme Support Payment Deadline

A reminder to all our members of the deadline for applications to the programme support payment will close on 21 June 2019. The payment will be calculated as equal to 7 days (1.4 weeks) registrations for ECCE at Standard Capitation, and 14 days’ (2.8 weeks’) registrations for CCS(P) and TEC. The application form for this can be accessed through PIP.

 

Question: How do I create a Safety Statement? Is there a template I should use?

For a safety statement, you can access the free resources on BeSmart.ie. Using this free website, you can choose your business, prepare your risk assessment unique to your service and then download your safety statement.

 

Do you have a question for the Early Years Employer Service team?

Please submit your question below and see it featured in upcoming EYES updates in Early Times Weekly.

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