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7. Maternity Leave Policy

The Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004 provide rights to employees regarding maternity leave and ante-natal/post-natal care. IPairc encourages all employees to inform their manager as soon as they know they are pregnant; this enables IPairc to ensure that the environment is supportive of all pregnancy requirements during this time.

IPairc should be notified of any adjustments that need to be made from a health and safety perspective. Pregnant employees are entitled to 26 consecutive weeks maternity leave. The leave period may be taken at the time the employee selects, provided that the leave commences at least two weeks before the end of the (medically certified) expected week of confinement. The employee may return to work at a time she selects provided it is not any earlier than four weeks after the end of the expected week of confinement.

Early Confinement
Should confinement take place four weeks or more before the expected week of confinement the employee is entitled to the full maternity leave entitlement beginning in the date of the birth or the first day of maternity leave (if she is already on leave) whichever is earlier. The employee should notify IPairc in writing within fourteen days of the changed circumstances.

Late Confinement
Should the birth take place later than expected and the employee has less than four weeks leave after confinement, the minimum period will be extended by up to but not more than four weeks, to ensure that she has four weeks leave after the birth. This provision would come into operation where an employee arranged to take a substantial proportion of her maternity leave before the birth and the confinement was later than expected. An employee is required to notify her employer in writing as soon as practical for an extension of maternity leave and to confirm the actual duration.

Miscarriage
There is no entitlement to statutory maternity leave for a miscarriage occurring up to, and, including the 24th week Of Pregnancy. Any confinement occurring after the 24′ week, even if it does not result in a live birth, is covered by the legislation.

Additional Maternity Leave
In addition to maternity leave an employee may elect to take 16 weeks unpaid additional maternity leave. During this period, there is no entitlement to Social Welfare maternity benefit. The employee must inform IPairc in writing of your intention to take the additional leave not later than four weeks before the end of the 26 weeks maternity leave period.

Natal Care Leave
An employee is entitled to such time off as is necessary from her normal working time, without loss of pay, to attend medical or related ante-natal or post-natal care. This right is subject to the employee providing IPairc at least two weeks notice, where possible, of her ante/post natal appointment and if requested a copy of her appointment card. The requirement to produce an appointment card does not apply to the first appointment.

Postponement of Maternity Leave
Subject to the employer s agreement, a mother has the option of splitting, or postponing, the period of maternity leave/additional maternity leave in the event of the hospitalisation of the child. Maternity leave may only be postponed if the employee has taken at least 14 weeks maternity leave, four of which have to be taken after the end of the week of confinement. The maximum period of postponement is six months.

Procedure
An employee must provide IPairc at least four weeks’ written notice of her intention to take maternity leave and also forward to IPairc a medical certificate confirming pregnancy and specifying the expected week of birth.

In addition, the employee must provide IPairc in writing at least four weeks’ notice of her intention to return to work. This notice to the employer is mandatory and return to work is dependent on this notice.

6. Force Majeure Leave

The force majeure policy covers all employees whilst in the employment of IPairc. Force majeure means that a critical, emergency event has taken place which by its nature it can not have been predicted or foreseeable.

Entitlement to force majeure leave is limited to circumstances where the immediate presence of the employee, at the place where the ill or injured person, is indispensable, that is urgent family reasons owing to the illness/injury of an immediate family member where the presence Of the employee with the ill/injured person is indispensable.

Employees are entitled to leave with pay from his / her place of work for urgent/emergency family reasons, owing to the injury Or illness Of any of the immediate family members listed below:

· A child Or adoptive child Of the employee
· The spouse of the employee or a person with whom the employee is living with as husband or wife
· A person to whom the employees is in loco parentis (acts as a parent to)
· A brother or sister of the employee
· A parent or grandparent of the employee
· Persons in a relationship of domestic dependency

During an absence on force majeure leave an employee is regarded as being in the employment of the IPairc, and retains all Of his or her employment rights.

An employee may not be absent on force majeure leave for more than three days in any twelve consecutive months, or five days in any thirty six consecutive months. Absence for part of a day is counted as one day of force majeure leave.

Procedure
As soon as reasonably practicable after his Or her return to work after an absence on force majeure leave, an employee must confirm to his or her employer that he or she has taken the leave. The relevant form must be completed and passed to the relevant manager and then to HR. IPairc reserves the right to seek appropriate evidence from employees for proof that a force majeure request is legitimate and/or not taken under false pretenses. Where this may be the case appropriate disciplinary action may be taken.

1. Annual Leave

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5. Public Holidays

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2. Absence from Work and Sick Leave

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3. Excessive Absence

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4. Compassionate Leave

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