Parental Leave was introduced in the legislation of Cyprus in 2002, with a view to harmonisation with the European Union acquis. Parental leave constitutes an important right for employees who are parents, since it allows both mothers and fathers to be absent from their work for the purpose of taking care and participating in the raising of their children.
In 2022, a new harmonization law was adopted with the aim of promoting work-life balance for working parents and carers which, amongst other things, provides for parental leave allowance, the right to carers’ leave, the right to time off from work on the grounds of force majeure and the right of working parents and carers to request flexible working arrangements.
Eligible for parental leave are all working parents with children up to the age of eight (8), who have completed six (6) months of continuous employment with the same employer. Every working parent with children up to the age of eight (8), has an individual right to parental leave with a total duration of eighteen (18) weeks for each child. In case of adoption, the leave can be taken after the end of the maternity/paternity leave, and for a period of eight (8) years from the date of adoption, given that the child has not exceeded the age of twelve (12). Also, in case of a disabled child, the right to use parental leave is extended from the age of eight (8) to the age of eighteen (18).
For widows or single parents (in cases of loss of custody or non-recognition of a child by the other parent) the duration of parental leave is extended from eighteen (18) to twenty-three (23) weeks.
Working parents can take parental leave with a minimum duration of one (1) day and a maximum duration of five (5) weeks per calendar year.
Every working father and every working mother who wishes to use parental leave must provide the employer with three (3) weeks' notice before the starting date of the parental leave (except in the case of an emergency where, given the employer's agreement, the notice may be less than three (3) weeks).
Working parents upon their own request, are entitled to take parental leave in flexible ways
that accommodate both their own and their employers’ needs, e.g. in the form of a reduction in their weekly working days (with a minimum parental leave period of one (1) day).
For more information regarding parental leave click here:
Parental Leave Allowance:
During parental leave, working parents are entitled to parental leave allowance, which partly compensates the loss of salary. For more information regarding the parental leave allowance, please visit the Social Insurance Services website here:
Any employee who provides personal care or support either (a) to a relative or (b) to a person residing in the same household as the employee, and who is in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason, is entitled to carers’ leave for five (5) working days per year, without pay. For taking up the leave, the employee provides the employer with an appropriate medical certificate.
For the purposes of the law, "relative" means a child, mother, father, spouse, and includes a civil partner with whom the employee has entered into a civil partnership.
Carers’ leave can be taken all at once or in parts.
Force Majeure Absence
Every employee is entitled to be absent from work for seven (7) working days per year, without pay, for reasons of force majeure related to urgent family reasons involving illness or accident.
Days of absence for reasons of force majeure can be taken all at once or in parts.
Flexible working arrangements for working parents or carers
Every working parent with a child up to the age of eight (8), and every carer, has the right to request flexible working arrangements for care reasons. In order to be eligible, the employee must have completed six (6) months of continuous employment with the same employer. The employer has the right to postpone or reject such a request.