Cyprus | Is a working father entitled to parental leave?

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Yes, the father is entitled to paternal leave (as does the mother in addition to her maternity leave rights), as provided by the Law on Parental Leave and Leave on Grounds of Force Majeure of 2012, which came into force within the frames of the harmonisation process with the EU directives.

The parental leave measure aims to encourage parents to maintain a balance between their work life and family life. Parental leave is the only leave available to fathers (for the purpose of child caretaking), as unlike other EU member states, the concept of “paternity leave” has not been introduced to the Cyprus legislation yet.

What is the difference between parental and paternity leave?

In a nutshell:

  • Parental leave is the unpaid leave from work following the child’s birth or adoption for the purpose of taking care of the child. Both parents (mother and father) are entitled to parental leave.
  • Paternity leave is the leave from work specifically provided for fathers, which is similar to the maternity leave.

Cyprus legislation at the moment provides only for maternity and for parental leave.

Who is entitled to parental leave?

All employed fathers and mothers are entitled to unpaid parental leave i.e. to be absent from their work in order to take care of their child under the age of eight (8) years old.

What is the maximum duration of unpaid parental leave?

Each parent is entitled to eighteen (18) weeks for each child.

The right is individual and non-transferable. However, in cases where one parent has taken parental leave of minimum two (2) weeks, then he/she can transfer (2) weeks from the rest of the total duration of his/her leave to the other parent.

Are there any limits on parental leave per calendar year?

Yes, in cases of one (1) or two (2) children, parental leave can be taken for a minimum period of one (1) week and a maximum period of five (5) weeks per calendar year while in cases of three (3) and more children, the annual leave can be up to seven (7) weeks.

What is the required notice period?

Under normal circumstances, the parents interested in taking parental leave must inform in writing their employer three (3) weeks in advance.

The above information is provided for general purposes only. For legal advice, we recommend that you contact us.