Over 55,000 have availed of Paternity Benefit since its introduction


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Over 55,000 have availed of Paternity Benefit since its introduction

New Parental Benefit to take effect later this year

Wednesday, 9th January 2019: Since its introduction in September 2016, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Paternity Benefit is proving to be a popular scheme for new dads.  Overall, some 55,652 people have availed of the two week payment since September 2016, including 4,325 self-employed.  Latest statistics from the Department show that 24,080 people availed of the payment in 2018.   

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D. believes that the two week Paternity Benefit payment provides a great opportunity for new parents.  She emphasised:

“I am delighted that the relatively recent Paternity Leave is proving so popular. This is not just good for dads but improves the quality of life for all the family. I would encourage working parents, both employees and self-employed who are expecting or adopting a new baby to avail of their PRSI and to take their paternity leave.  This is just one of the supports that this Government has introduced for parents of young children.”

Paternity Benefit is a social welfare payment for employed and self-employed people who take paternity leave from work and are covered by their Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). The scheme is available to employees paying PRSI Class A, E or H contributions and to self-employed people paying PRSI Class S contributions.

It is paid for two weeks to cover paternity leave and is available for any child born or adopted. Paternity leave can be taken at any time within the first six months following the birth or adoption placement. The current rate of Paternity Benefit is €240 per week. It will increase to €245 per week from the week beginning 25 March 2019, as provided for in Budget 2019. 

Minister Doherty emphasised that the Government’s commitment to families did not end with paternity leave and she cited the recently introduced new additional parental leave which will be in addition to current entitlements and will become available later in 2019. She added:

“Later this year, when the necessary legislation is in place, the new Parental Benefit scheme that we announced in Budget 2019 will be available to both parents providing for additional paid parental leave in the first year of their child’s life.  Both parents will have access to an additional two weeks each of Parental Benefit, which will also be paid at the rate of €245 per week.”

This new Parental Benefit scheme will be family-friendly and flexible. Each parent will be able to take the new paid leave any time – and at the same time if they so wish – during their child’s first year.

The Minister explained:

“The first 12 months of life are incredibly formative for a child and the benefit of allowing parents greater time with a new baby will be beneficial to individual children, families and society as a whole. I am particularly happy that, with both paternal leave and this new parental leave scheme, we are creating more opportunities for fathers to have the time to spend with their new arrivals as this greatly benefits both child and parent.”

A county by county breakdown of Paternity Benefit leave taken for 2018 is attached.

ENDS

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Last modified:09/01/2019