Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed and New Parent’s Benefit Now Available

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Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed and New Parent’s Benefit Now Available
Minister Doherty Announces Two New Schemes to Come into Effect Today
Public Information Campaign will Promote Details of the Two New Schemes
Friday, 1 November, 2019: The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., has announced the introduction of two new PRSI based schemes in her Department which take effect today.
Jobseeker’s Benefit for the self-employed is a new scheme available to the self-employed, based on their self-employment PRSI Contributions (Class S) who are no longer engaged in self-employment.
Minister Doherty commented:
“The availability of Jobseeker’s Benefit to the self-employed for the first time represents the latest step in this Government’s work to extend PRSI benefits and provide an income safety net to employees and the self-employed alike.
“This new benefit entitlement will support the owners of small and medium-sized businesses, who are the backbone of the economy. This measure creates more fairness in our system of supports for those who create jobs for others and is in line with this Government's policy of supporting self-employment and entrepreneurship.”
More information on this entitlement can be accessed on the Department’s website at
A new Parent’s Benefit also becomes available from today. This benefit will ensure that parents with a child born or adopted from today onwards can now qualify for two weeks’ paid leave each within their child’s first year. This is in addition to existing Maternity and Paternity Benefits.
This Parent’s Benefit scheme is family-friendly and flexible, allowing parents to take one week or two at a time. Each parent will be able to take the new paid leave any time during their child’s first year.
When a parent chooses to avail of this new leave to spend additional time with their child, they will be entitled to a payment of €245 per week from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Minister Doherty highlighted the Government’s commitment to families as it is anticipated that this scheme could support up to 60,000 parents a year to spend additional time with their children and provide more flexibility in managing a work life balance. She said:
“The early years of a child’s life are formative.  That first year goes by so quickly, we want make the most of it by giving both parents the opportunity to spend more time with their new arrival. We are committed to increasing the quantity of your quality time.
 “This new Parent’s Benefit – along with other initiatives such as subsidised childcare, hot school meals, free school books and free GP care for kids – is further evidence that this Government values families and recognises their priorities.  And, because we value families, I intend to build on this Parent’s Benefit and gradually extend the amount of benefit available to nine weeks for each parent.”
More information on the new Parent’s Benefit can be accessed on the Department’s website
The Department will be running public information campaigns to promote the availability of these two new schemes. From next Monday,4 November, a public information campaign will begin, featuring print, radio, digital and social media advertising, to inform self-employed people that become unemployed that they may qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit for the self-employed based on their Class S PRSI contributions. 
A public information campaign to promote the Parent’s Benefit will begin the following week and is aimed at parents of new babies and parents who are adopting babies or children from today (1 November).  This campaign will also feature print, radio, digital and social media advertising.
Notes for Editors 
Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-Employed
Many of the features of the existing Jobseeker’s Benefit available to employees will apply to the new scheme. These include:
  • The rate of payment will be the same as that paid to employees receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit – maximum personal weekly rate is €203 max.
  • Payments, including increases for qualified adults and children will also be made in line with that in place for the existing Jobseeker’s Benefit.
  • The duration for the new scheme will be for 6 or 9 months depending on the number of PRSI contributions paid by the self-employed person. This is also in line with the existing scheme of Jobseeker’s Benefit for employees.

Parent’s Benefit – Background information

The Parents Leave and Benefit builds on a number of statutory entitlements to leave which parents are already entitled to.  These are:

Maternity Leave 
The Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004 provide for a statutory minimum entitlement to maternity leave.  A pregnant employee is entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave (2 of which must be taken before the baby is born) as well as an entitlement to an additional 16 weeks' unpaid maternity leave. 

In 2017, the duration of maternity leave and associated Maternity Benefit was extended to be paid in cases where a baby is born prematurely.  The extended period of benefit is equivalent to the duration between the actual date of birth of the premature baby and the date when the maternity leave was expected to commence (i.e. ordinarily two weeks before the expected date of birth).  These new measures were introduced under section 16 of the Social Welfare Act 2017, which was enacted and came into law on 23 December 2017.
Paternity Leave
The Government introduced two weeks of paternity leave with effect from 1 September 2016.  Fathers are entitled to paid paternity leave from employment or self-employment following the birth or adoption of a child. 
Section 6 of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides for statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks. These provisions apply to births and adoptions on or after 1 September 2016, and may be taken at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement.
Parental Leave
Section 6 of the Parental Leave Act 1998 provides for 18 weeks unpaid parental leave for a child up to the age of eight, or 16 years of age in the case of a child with a serious illness or disability.  The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 expanded this entitlement by eight weeks, which comprises an increase of an additional four weeks from 1st September 2019 and a further four weeks from 1st September 2020. The Act also increased the age of the child for which parental leave is available from eight to 12 years. 
Adoptive Leave
Under the Adoptive Leave Act 1995, as amended by the Adoptive Leave Act 2005, an adoptive mother is entitled to avail of adoptive leave from employment.
Since 1 March 2007, the adopting parent is entitled to 24 weeks' adoptive leave. A person adopting a child is also entitled to take an additional 16 weeks of unpaid adoptive leave after the 24 week paid leave ends.
Press Office Contact Details
T: 01 704 3082
Twitter: @welfare_ie
Last modified:01/11/2019

 Jobseeker's Benefit for the self emloyed

​For more information on Jobseeker's Benefit for the self-employed click HERE

 Parent's Benefit

​For more information on Parent's Benefit click HERE