Gay couples in Ireland are to be given an entitlement to emergency leave for a family crises.

The amendment to the Parental Leave Act, means gay employees can take three days paid leave in an emergency regarding their partner.

The law previously allowed time off for workers to tend to close blood relatives in times of an accident or an illness, it now includes “persons in a close relationship of domestic dependency, including same-sex couples.”

It also raises the age of a child from five to eight for when a parent can take leave and 16 years if the child has a disability.

Parents in the same company will be allowed to transfer their entitlement between each other and people with a parental role, but no legal title, will also be recognised.