With a substantial body of research demonstrating the business, economic and societal benefits of gender balance in the workplace, there is an increasing focus on the need to look at ways to attract, engage and retain women, and support them to progress their careers into leadership roles.

A key area of focus is the point at which employees start a family and the early parenting years. There is an existing complex legislative landscape in the time between experience during pregnancy, maternity leave and/or return to the workplace with a body of existing legislation in place and a number of changes being proposed, including the government’s proposal to extend the period where mothers can avail of breastfeeding breaks from the current six months up to a period of two years.

This one day workshop will explore existing legislation in terms of family leave entitlements, what new proposals are being sought and how workplaces can be ready for these. It will also outline how to deal with an application for leave and subsequently, the reintegration into the workplace and the transition back to work. It will examine best practice and will look at how employers and HR staff can approach this career phase from a proactive and protective prospective.


What this Workshop will Cover:

Currently, one of the provisions of the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 is that women in employment who are breastfeeding are entitled to take time off work each day in order to breastfeed.

The provision applies to all women in employment who have given birth within the previous 6 months (26 weeks).

The government are seeking to amend the legislation in order to extend the period where mothers can avail of breastfeeding breaks up to a period of two years, or 104 weeks after the birth of the baby.

This would require an amendment to the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004.

This seminar will assist delegates to understand the ramifications of the new legislation as it would apply to HR practices within their workplace and will also detail what their current entitlements are under the Act.


The seminar will also outline the updated legislation in terms of family leave entitlements and will cover the below:

  • The legal entitlement to paternity leave
  • The legal entitlement to maternity leave
  • The legal entitlement to parental leave and force majeure
  • The legal right to parent’s leave
  • The legal entitlement to adoptive leave
  • The legal entitlement to carer’s leave
  • The statutory duties of the employer when it comes to employee leave

The afternoon session will cover practical and best practice advice for both employees and HR managers and will look at the below:

Dealing with an application for leave

  • The importance of a positive workplace culture
  • Creating a culture of facilitating employee requests
  • Communication of circulars and training supporting employees
  • Practicalities of an application for leave


Workplace Reintegration and Transition

Preparing for the transition of an employee’s return to work to work

  • Engaging with the employee and planning the return
  • Considering options – flexible hybrid work arrangements and alternative work venues
  • Managing returning employee’s work commitments and possible apprehensions on return to the workplace



Sharon Dillon-Lyons is a Barrister-at-Law. She practices in civil litigation including tort and contract law. She has experience working in policy and compliance with non-governmental organisations; specifically legal duties of bodies including legislative compliance with data protection, freedom of information and health and safety. She also has experience of best practice tools to monitor implementation of policies, procedures and compliance with legal and contractual obligations.



Claire Flannery is the Founder and Director of ‘Strength Within’ coaching and consultancy, where she focuses on helping people create the headspace and mental clarity to discover, cultivate and maximise their strength within. Claire is a qualified Business Psychologist and Executive, Business & Personal Coach with over a decade of experience working in HR leadership in Financial and Professional Services. She has worked with business leaders and individuals through significant organisational and personal change, including periods of organisational growth, restructure and downsizing. She is also a mum to two small boys and has personal experience of successfully managing her career while preparing to transition out of, and back into, the workforce. Claire is a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland, British Psychological Society, and Association for Coaching


Full Course Details

Title: HRM Supports: Family Leave Workshop: Exploring Existing Legislation and Best Practice in the Workplace
CPD: 4-6 CPD Hours
Method of Delivery
: Online



Who Should Attend

This update seminar will be of interest to women in the workplace to inform themselves of their current entitlements under the Maternity Protection Act and what new legislation is being proposed.

It will also benefit all employees to inform themselves of current family leave entitlements.

This seminar will be of particular interest and relevance to HR directors and HR managers and will also be of interest to senior leaders and managers who have a role in championing HR and cultural change.



Tailored Training 

All of our open programmes can also be run on an in-house basis. For more information, see our page on In-House Training.

For any questions you may have regarding this programme, please email info@pai.ie or call 01 877 3910