Maternity leave consists of 26 weeks paid leave and an optional 16 weeks unpaid leave. If you get Maternity Benefit, you will get credits automatically.
What happens to my social insurance record if I take unpaid maternity leave?
Under the terms of the Maternity Protection Act, 1994, if you are in insurable employment, an employment contribution may be credited to your record for each week that you take unpaid maternity leave. This makes sure that your cover for social welfare benefits is kept up to date.
This PRSI credit/employment contribution may be credited to your record:
for each week (up to a maximum of 16 weeks) of additional unpaid maternity leave that you have taken immediately after your paid Maternity Benefit. Additional unpaid maternity leave must start
immediately after your paid Maternity Benefit otherwise you will not be entitled to credits for your unpaid leave.
for each week of unpaid Maternity Leave (up to a maximum of 26 weeks) that you have taken if you have not qualified for Maternity Benefit from this Department.
If you avail of unpaid Maternity Leave in either of the above circumstances, you must get your employer to complete the application form for
Maternity Leave Creditsafter you return to work.
Send the completed application to:
Maternity Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection
Mc Carter’s Road
LoCall: 1890 690 690 (from the Republic of Ireland only)
+ 353 1 47 15898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)