Employees will gain some new rights from 3 July, when parts of legislation on work-life balance come into effect.
Under the changes, the entitlement to breastfeeding breaks will be extended from the current period of six months – a time that coincides with maternity leave – to two years.
In addition, parents and carers will be entitled to a new right to unpaid leave for medical purposes.
Roderic O’Gorman (Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, pictured) announced the commencement date for parts of the Work Life Balance Act 2023, which was signed into law earlier this year.
He said that the extension of breastfeeding breaks to two years after the birth of the child would support women returning to work after maternity leave.
A separate part of the act that introduces domestic-violence leave is due to come into effect in the autumn, according to the department.
The right to request flexible working for parents and carers will be commenced after the preparation of a Code of Practice by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).