Paternity Benefit - Frequently Asked Questions


Print page
  1. What is Paternity Benefit?
  2. When will Paternity Benefit become available?
  3. When can I take the Paternity Leave?
  4. My due date is the 2nd September but what if the baby arrives in August?
  5. Can I claim Paternity Benefit if I adopt a baby?
  6. What should I do now if I want to take the leave and avail of the benefit?
  7. What supporting documentation do I require for my employer to apply for the Paternity Leave?
  8. What supporting documentation do I require to apply for the Paternity Benefit?
  9. How will I be notified about the decision on my Paternity Benefit claim?
  10. How much is the benefit?
  11. Can I split the period and take separate weeks?
  12. Will my employer pay me while I’m on Paternity Leave?
  13. How much Paternity Leave and Benefit can I get if I have twins or multiple births?
  14. Do I get extra payments for a qualified adult or qualified children?
  15. Can Paternity Benefit be claimed by men only?
  16. We are two recently married men and I’m adopting my husband’s son, who is 7. Am I entitled to Paternity Benefit? (My husband already took adoptive leave as a sole male adopter).
  17. How is Paternity Benefit paid?
  18. Is my Paternity Benefit subject to PRSI?
  19. Is my Paternity Benefit taxable?
  20. What is the connection between Paternity Leave and Paternity Benefit?
  21. How do I qualify?
  22. Does social insurance outside Ireland count?
  23. Can a parent receive Paternity Benefit if the mother and child are resident in another EU Member State?
  24. I’m expecting in November, but I’m not with the child’s father any more. Can someone else claim the Paternity Benefit?
  25. Does the father have to live with me to be entitled to the benefit?
  26. My husband has died. He was due to take paternity benefit in a few weeks time. Can I get it instead?
  27. Can I get another social welfare payment as well as my Paternity Benefit?
  28. Can I get paid my Paternity Benefit if I go to another country?
  29. Can I be disqualified from receiving Paternity Benefit?
  30. What happens if my child is premature?
  31. My baby was born prematurely and is in hospital. Am I entitled to extra Paternity Benefit?
  32. What happens if my child is stillborn?
  33. My baby did not arrive on the expected due date, how does this affect my Paternity Benefit?
  34. My wife wants to spend as long as possible with our new baby. Can I transfer the Paternity Benefit to her?
  35. Can I qualify for Credits while I am getting Paternity Benefit?
  36. Am I still entitled to Paternity Leave credits even if I am not entitled to Paternity Benefit?
  37. Can I work while getting Paternity Benefit?
  38. Can I postpone Paternity Benefit?
  39. How do I apply for Paternity Benefit?
  40. Where can I get more information?

1. What is Paternity Benefit?

Paternity Benefit is a payment made to a person who is on Paternity Leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). It is available in respect of any child born or placed with their adoptive parents on or after 1 September 2016.

Paternity Benefit provides a weekly payment of €235 for two weeks to enable the parent take this time off work.

2. When will Paternity Benefit become available?

The Paternity Benefit and Paternity Leave schemes were introduced by Government from 1 September 2016. Paternity Benefit has been available since 1 September 2016 and applies in respect of all babies born placed with their adoptive parents on or after that date. You can apply for Paternity Benefit to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

3. When can I take the Paternity Leave?

You can take Paternity Leave at any time from 1 September 2016 when the legislation comes into operation.  The Leave applies to babies born or placed with their adoptive parents on or after 1 September 2016 and must commence within 26 weeks of that date.

4. My due date is the 2nd September but what if the baby arrives in August?

Only births or placements (adoptions) which occur on or after 1st September 2016 will be eligible for Paternity Benefit.

5. Can I claim Paternity Benefit if I adopt a baby?

Yes, you can claim Paternity Benefit within 26 weeks of the date that the baby is placed with you and your spouse or partner and you must provide confirmation of the date that the child was placed in your care.

6. What should I do now if I want to take the leave and avail of the benefit?

  1. Notify your employer in good time (4 week’s notice is required) and provide proof of the expected date of confinement of your spouse or partner.
  2. Ensure that you are in a position to make your application online at www.mywelfare.ie.  This means getting a Public Service Card (if you do not already have one) and registering with the MyWelfare service.

7. What supporting documentation do I require for my employer to apply for the Paternity Leave?

You are required to notify your employer at least four weeks in advance of taking your Paternity Leave and to provide proof of the expected date of confinement of your spouse partner.  In other words, you will be required to provide a certificate from your spouse/partners doctor confirming when your baby is due, or confirmation of the baby’s birth where the leave is being applied for after the birth has occurred.

In the case of an adoption, you must provide confirmation of the date of placement of your baby in your care.

8. What supporting documentation do I require to apply for the Paternity Benefit?

If you are employed, your employer must complete a form to certify that you are entitled to Paternity Leave for the dates provided.  A form PB 2: Employer Certificate, (employee / PAYE applicant) is available for this purpose.

If you are self-employed, a doctor must certify the due date of your baby (or the baby’s date of birth. This is required to confirm that you are entitled to Paternity Leave.  A form PB3: Doctors Certificate (self-employed applicants) is available for this purpose.

9. How will I be notified about the decision on my Paternity Benefit claim?

A decision on your claim and all correspondence relating to your claim will issue by e-mail to your ‘MyWelfare’ account.

10. How much is the benefit?

Paternity Benefit is payable at a minimum rate of €235 per week for two weeks.

11. Can I split the period and take separate weeks?

No.  The full period must be taken in one block.

12. Will my employer pay me while I’m on Paternity Leave?

Some employers will continue to pay an employee while the employee is on Paternity Leave. In such cases, the employer will require the employee to have any Paternity Benefit be paid to them. You should check your contract of employment to see what applies to you.

13. How much Paternity Leave and Benefit can I get if I have twins or multiple births?

Only one Paternity Benefit is payable even if the birth of the child is part of a multiple birth of two or more children or if you adopt two or more children at the same time.  This means that you will be entitled to two weeks Paternity Leave at €235 per week for two weeks.  These are the same arrangements as for Maternity Leave and Benefit.

14. Do I get extra payments for a qualified adult or qualified children?

You may get extra payments for a qualified adult (€128.10) and qualified children (€29.80 per qualified child).

If you have dependants, the Department compares the rate of Paternity Benefit to the rate of Illness Benefit that you would get if you were absent from work through illness. The Department  will check this for you and you will get the higher of the two rates.

Although the Illness Benefit rate begins from a lower base amount of €193 (maximum personal rate), it then also takes into account extra payments for your spouse, cohabitant or civil partner and children. This is why, depending on the circumstances of your spouse and how many children you have, your rate of Paternity Benefit may be greater than the personal rate to which you would have otherwise been entitled.

There are a number of factors that decide whether or not you will receive an extra payment for a spouse, cohabitant or civil partner or child:

  • If your spouse, cohabitant or civil partner is in receipt of another Social Welfare payment in their own right, you cannot receive an extra payment for them, but you may get half of the €29.80 child entitlement for each qualified child you have (which is €14.90 per week).
  • If your spouse has either no income or gross weekly earnings (earnings before deductions) of between €0.01 and €100.00, you may get a full rate for them and full rate for each qualified child you have.
  • If your spouse has earnings of between €100.01 and €310.00, you may receive a reduced rate for them and full rate for each qualified child you have.
  • If your spouse has gross weekly earnings of €310.01 and €400.00, you cannot receive any extra payment for them, but may receive half rate for each qualified child you have.
  • If your spouse has gross weekly earnings of more than €400 you cannot receive any extra payment for them or for your children.

15. Can Paternity Benefit be claimed by men only?

Paternity Benefit can be claimed by the spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of the mother, regardless of gender or by the spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of the adopting mother or by the spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of a sole male adopter.

Provision is also made in the legislation that Paternity Benefit is can be paid to the father of the child in cases where the father is not a spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of the child’s mother.

16. We are two recently married men and I’m adopting my husband’s son, who is 7. Am I entitled to Paternity Benefit? (My husband already took adoptive leave as a sole male adopter).

Yes, but the Paternity Benefit must start within 26 weeks from the day of placement.

17. How is Paternity Benefit paid?

Paternity Benefit can be paid in two ways;

  • By electronic fund transfer (EFT) into your nominated bank account or building society, or
  • Mandated to your employer’s account where your employer continues to pay your wage while you are on Paternity Leave.

18. Is my Paternity Benefit subject to PRSI?

Paternity Benefit is not subject to PRSI. If you choose to have your Benefit paid to your employer, who then continues to pay your normal weekly wage, you may be entitled to a PRSI refund. You should complete the Refund of PRSI Contributions Application FORM PRSIREF 1, which can be accessed online at www.welfare.ie.

19. Is my Paternity Benefit taxable?

Paternity Benefit (including any increases for adult and child dependents) is reckonable for income tax purposes. This Department pays Paternity Benefit directly to recipients without any deduction for tax. To assist in the taxation of Paternity Benefit, this Department will notify the Office of the Revenue Commissioners of the taxable amount of Paternity Benefit to be taken into account for income tax purposes.

For more information on the taxation of Paternity Benefit please log on to www.Revenue.ie www.revenue.ie.

Note: Any enquiries in relation to tax affairs should be directed to your local Tax Office. The phone number and address of your local Tax Office are supplied on the "Notice of Determination of Tax Credits and Standard Rate cut-off point" form.

20. What is the connection between Paternity Leave and Paternity Benefit?

Similar to the Maternity Leave and Maternity Benefit schemes, you must have an entitlement to Paternity Leave granted by your employer (or yourself, if self-employed) before you can apply for Paternity Benefit.

21. How do I qualify?

In order to qualify, you must be in employment or self-employment and satisfy certain PRSI conditions. The PRSI classes that count for Paternity Benefit are A, E, H and S (self-employed). Paternity Benefit is not payable to serving members of the Defence Forces who pay PRSI at Class H.

In the case of an employee:

  • At least 39 weeks PRSI contributions paid in the 12-month period before the first day of your Paternity Benefit and
  • At least 39 weeks PRSI paid since first starting work and at least 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year or in the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on Paternity Leave in 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014 and the year following that is 2015 or
  • At least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the relevant tax year and at least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on Paternity Leave in 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014 and the year before that is 2013

If you do not meet these PRSI conditions and you were in insurable self-employment before starting insurable employment as an employee, you may use your PRSI contributions (Class S) in that self-employment to qualify for Paternity Benefit – see PRSI conditions for self-employed people below.

You are awarded credited contributions or credits automatically when you are getting Paternity Benefit. Credits are awarded at the same rate as your last paid contribution. These credits help protect your future entitlement to social welfare benefits and pensions.

Periods of insurance in another EU member state may be taken into account to meet the PRSI contribution conditions. The last week of insurance must be paid in Ireland.

In the case of a person in insurable self-employment -
You must have:

  • 52 PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the relevant tax year. For example, if you are claiming Paternity Benefit in 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014 or 
  • 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are claiming Paternity Benefit in 2016, the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year is 2013 or
  • or 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on Paternity Leave in 2016, the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year is 2015.

If you do not meet these PRSI conditions and you were in insurable employment before becoming self-employed, you may use your PRSI contributions (Class A, E and H) in that employment to qualify for Paternity Benefit – see PRSI conditions for employed people above.

If you are in insurable self-employment, you are not awarded credited contributions or credits automatically when you are getting Paternity Benefit. A self-employed person is not excluded from employment credits specifically.  You would however have to satisfy the conditions for credits for employed persons –

  • a person must first have entered insurable employment - he or she must have paid at least one PRSI contribution as an employed contributor, and
  • a person must, in general, have a paid or credited employment contribution in the previous 2 full tax years.  In general where a person has no PRSI paid or credited contributions for two full tax years, they cannot be awarded credits again until they return to work and pay PRSI employment contributions for at least 26 weeks.  

For example an applicant for Paternity Benefit who is now self-employed but had been employed in 2015 would qualify for credits as they do not have a 2 year gap.  If they have been only self-employed for the last 3 years they won’t qualify for credits

22. Does social insurance outside Ireland count?

If you were previously insurably employed in a country covered by EU Regulations or in a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement and you have paid at least one full rate PRSI contribution in Ireland, you may combine your insurance record in that country with your Irish PRSI contributions to help you qualify for Paternity Benefit. You must be in insurable employment in Ireland currently and have paid your most recent PRSI contribution in Ireland.

The countries covered by EC Regulations for Paternity Benefit purposes are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • the Netherlands
  • the United Kingdom

If you were working in one of the countries listed above in the relevant tax year, please submit your application form as early as possible before you plan to take Paternity Leave to give the Department time to get your insurance record from the appropriate country.

23. Can a parent receive Paternity Benefit if the mother and child are resident in another EU Member State

Yes, a parent can receive Paternity Benefit if the mother and child are resident in another EU Member State or resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) providing, if employed, they are eligible for Paternity Leave and satisfy the qualifying conditions for Paternity Benefit.  If they are self-employed, they will have to self-certify that they are entitled to Paternity Leave and satisfy the qualifying conditions for the Paternity Benefit scheme.

24. I’m expecting in November, but I’m not with the child’s father any more. Can someone else claim the Paternity Benefit?

Only persons defined as a "relevant parent" are entitled to apply for Paternity Benefit. These are

  • the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant as the case may be of the mother of the child;
  • in the case of a child who is being adopted, the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant as the case may be of the adopting mother or sole male adopter;
  • Or the father of the child

Please note that with the exception of adoption, Paternity Benefit can only be paid once in respect of each child.

25. Does the father have to live with me to be entitled to the benefit?

No.

26. My husband has died. He was due to take paternity benefit in a few weeks time. Can I get it instead?

Yes. The Paternity Leave and Paternity Benefit can be transferred to the surviving parent.

27. Can I get another social welfare payment as well as my Paternity Benefit?

Reduced rates

You may get half-rate Paternity Benefit if you are getting any of the following payments:

 

  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Widow's, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner Contributory Pension
  • Widow's, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner Non-Contributory Pension
  • Death Benefit by way of Widow’s, Widower’s, Surviving Civil Partner’s or Dependent Parent(s) Pension (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme).

Half-rate Carer’s Allowance

If you are providing full-time care to another person, you may also qualify for a half-rate Carer’s Allowance along with a standard rate Paternity Benefit. For more information, log on to www.welfare.ie.

28. Can I get paid my Paternity Benefit if I go to another country?

You will not be paid Paternity Benefit for any period you spend outside the European Economic Area (EEA).  If you are an EU citizen, you can get Paternity Benefit for any period of your Paternity Leave spent in an EEA country. If you are not an EU citizen, you will only get Paternity Benefit for any period you spend in the Republic of Ireland.

If you intend to leave the EEA for any period of your paid Paternity Benefit, you must inform Paternity Benefit Section.

29. Can I be disqualified from receiving Paternity Benefit?

You will be disqualified from receiving Paternity Benefit under the following circumstances:

  • If you engage in any form of insurable employment or insurable self-employment during the period for which Paternity Benefit is payable.
  • For any period of time spent outside the EEA during the period for which benefit is payable.
  • Failure to apply for Paternity Benefit within six months of the birth or, in the case of adoption, the date of placement of the child may result in loss of benefit.

30. What happens if my child is premature?

In the case of a premature birth (before your Paternity Leave is due to start), you should inform Paternity Benefit section enclosing your PPS number and written confirmation from a registered medical practioner of the date of birth and the original due date.

31. My baby was born prematurely and is in hospital. Am I entitled to extra Paternity Benefit?

There is no provision under current legislation for additional Maternity Leave or Maternity Benefit in these circumstances. Therefore, on equality grounds, it would not have been possible to legislate for such situations in relation to Paternity Leave and Paternity Benefit. a. However, a Family Leave Bill is currently being drafted, which aims to consolidate into one piece of legislation the current provisions regarding Maternity, Adoptive, Parental and Carer’s Leave. In this context, it’s possible that there will be an opportunity to consider changes in the operation of these types of leave. If any changes are made in relation to these types of leave then changes will also be made in relation to the associated payments.

32. What happens if my child is stillborn?

If your child is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, you are entitled to 2 weeks Paternity Leave. You may also be entitled to 2 weeks paid Paternity Benefit provided you satisfy the social insurance (PRSI) requirements. In addition to a completed Paternity Benefit application form, you should enclose written confirmation of the original due date, the date your baby was stillborn and the number of week’s gestation.

33. My baby did not arrive on the expected due date, how does this affect my Paternity Benefit?

Under legislation Paternity Leave must begin on or after the actual date of birth, or, in the case of adoption, the date of placement and within 26 weeks of that date. If your baby does not arrive on the expected due date please contact your employer in order to select another date on which Paternity Leave can commence. Should you wish to defer your Paternity Benefit payment please contact the Paternity Benefit section on 1890 66 22 44.

34. My wife wants to spend as long as possible with our new baby. Can I transfer the Paternity Benefit to her?

No.

35. Can I qualify for Credits while I am getting Paternity Benefit?

If you are in insurable employment and are awarded Paternity Benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, credits will be automatically added to your record for the period that the benefit is paid to you (up to a maximum of 2 weeks).

If you are in insurable self-employment, you are not awarded credited contributions or credits automatically when you are getting Paternity Benefit. A self-employed person is not excluded from employment credits specifically.  You would however have to satisfy the conditions for credits for employed persons –

  • a person must first have entered insurable employment - he or she must have paid at least one PRSI contribution as an employed contributor, and
  • a person must, in general, have a paid or credited employment contribution in the previous 2 full tax years.  In general where a person has no PRSI paid or credited contributions for two full tax years, they cannot be awarded credits again until they return to work and pay PRSI employment contributions for at least 26 weeks.  

For example an applicant for Paternity Benefit who is now self-employed but had been employed in 2015 would qualify for credits as they does not have a 2 year gap.  If they have been only self-employed for the last 3 years they won’t qualify for credits.

36. Am I still entitled to Paternity Leave credits even if I am not entitled to Paternity Benefit?

If you are in insurable employment and not entitled to Paternity Benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, but you take Paternity Leave from your employment, you will be entitled to have credits added to your record for the period of your Paternity Leave.  In this case, you must provide written confirmation from your employer of the periods of Paternity Leave for which you wish to apply for credit, after you return to work.

Send the completed application/employer letter to:
Paternity Benefit Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Mc Carter’s Road
Buncrana
Co. Donegal
LoCall: 1890 66 22 44
 

37. Can I work while getting Paternity Benefit?

Voluntary work, public representative work (for example Councillor or TD), and courses of education are allowed while you are in receipt of Paternity Benefit. However, you may not engage in insurable (paid) employment or insurable (paid) self-employment and your Paternity Benefit payment will be stopped if you do so.

If you intend to return to work earlier than you had stated on your application form, you must notify Paternity Benefit Section before your new 'return-to-work date'.
 

38. Can I postpone Paternity Benefit

Paternity Benefit cannot be postponed or delayed except in the case of your child being hospitalised.  In all other cases, Paternity Leave must begin on or after the actual date of birth, or, in the case of adoption, the date of placement and within 26 weeks of that date.

39. How do I apply for Paternity Benefit?

  1. You must notify your employer 4 weeks in advance of your intention to take Paternity Leave and the intended dates of the leave.
  2. You should register for a public service card (if you do not already have one) and registering with the MyWelfare service, as this is a prerequisite for making an application on the Departments online system.
  3. You should go ‘online’ at www.mywelfare.ie and apply for the Paternity Benefit.

40. Where can I get more information?

For more information on Paternity Benefit, contact Paternity Benefit Section at the following address:

Paternity Benefit Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
McCarter's Road
Buncrana
Co. Donegal

Or

your local Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Office or Citizen Information Centre.

Or

Locall: 1890 66 22 44
Website: www.welfare.ie/paternitybenefit

For information about employment rights and responsibilities, including Paternity Leave contact:

Workplace Relations Customer Service
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
O’Brien Road
Carlow

LoCall: 1890 80 80 90 (from the Republic of Ireland only)
+353 59 917 8990 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)
Website: www.workplacerelations.ie

Last modified:07/11/2017