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New Paid Parental Leave and Benefit from November

  • 25/04/2019
  • Author:bridgetmccall

New parents to have access to two weeks leave each - expected to rise to seven weeks over next three years

Family reading a book

From this November, parents will have access to two weeks leave each – expected to rise to seven weeks each over the next three years.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, have announced that from this November all new parents in employment or self-employment will be able to avail of a new Parental Leave scheme. This will offer two weeks leave and benefit to spend with their new babies during their first year. Ultimately, parents will be able to benefit from seven weeks leave each under the scheme as it develops in stages over the next three years.

It is estimated that up to 60,000 parents could benefit from the scheme in a full year.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection's comments

Speaking on the importance of the scheme, Regina Doherty TD said:

“Parents, children and society in general will all benefit from the introduction of this scheme. Firstly, in that formative first year of life, children now have the opportunity to spend more time with both parents. Secondly, on top of the recently introduced Paternity Benefit, this extends the leave benefits available to fathers.

“Crucially this new benefit is non-transferable and is available on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. This, I hope, will help to incentivise fathers to take more time off work to care for their children than has been the case up to now. The evidence shows that when fathers take a more significant and meaningful share in the parenting of their children, the individual family benefits. And so does wider society, as by encouraging more fathers to take time off, we are in a position to challenge the existing culture regarding work and gender.”

The scheme

Under the scheme, both parents will have access to two weeks each (non-transferable) benefit for babies born from this November, which will be paid at the same rate as Maternity Benefit and Paternity Benefit - €245 per week. It is intended to gradually increase this to up to seven weeks parental leave over the next three years in line with Government announcement for Budget 2019.

Minister Stanton highlighted another important feature of the Bill: “The Bill also proposes to take the final steps needed to enable male same-sex couples to receive adoptive leave and benefit. This is further progress towards ensuring equality for all families."

Source: press release: Up to 60,000 parents a year to gain as New Paid Parental Leave and Benefit available from this November

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