If an employee has an urgent family crisis or emergency, the Parental Leave Act, 1998-2006 gives him/her a right to paid leave from work for up to 3 days in a rolling 12 month period and 5 days in a rolling 36 month period. This is known as force majeure leave.

A close family member is defined as one of the following:

  • A child or adopted child of the employee
  • The husband/wife/partner of the employee
  • Parent or grandparent of the employee
  • Brother or sister of the employee
  • Person to whom the employee has a duty of care (that is, he/she is acting in loco parentis)
  • A person in a relationship of domestic dependency with the employee, including a same-sex partner
  • Persons of any other class (if any) as may be prescribed

Employees are entitled to be paid while on force majeure leave and employers are entitled to request evidence of the emergency where possible. In addition, employers are required to keep records of force majeure leave for up to eight years.