Varadkar delighted as more than 3,500 dads secure two weeks of Paternity Benefit

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More than 3,500 parents have already been approved for two weeks of paternity benefit since it was launched two months, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has revealed.

By the end of November some 3,575 applications for Paternity Benefit had been approved, including 267 self-employed people.

Minister Varadkar said: "I’m delighted to see so many applications being made for paternity benefit. We want all eligible parents to apply for this new benefit as we believe it’s important that new dads get to spend more time with their children.

"The number of approved applications almost doubled between September and October which suggests that awareness is growing that Paternity Benefit is now available. I’d like to remind any new dads who haven’t applied yet that they might still be eligible, as it’s available for up to 26 weeks following the birth of a child born any time after September 1st.

"Paternity Benefit is paid at €230 a week and gives fathers more opportunities to take an active role in the early stages of their child’s life, and give the best start possible. Employers have the option of topping up the benefit for their employees. Self-employed fathers are also eligible, and for the first time can avail of a guaranteed minimum income during paternity leave. Remember also that Paternity Benefit is available to parents adopting a child, and to same-sex couples."

New parents who have a Public Services Card and are registered with can apply online for Paternity benefit. Alternatively they can download an application form from the Department’s website or by calling 1890 66 22 44.

In order to qualify for Paternity Benefit, applicants must satisfy social insurance contribution conditions. The scheme is available to employees paying PRSI Class A, E or H contributions and to self-employed people paying PRSI Class S contributions.

Employees will need to give four weeks’ notice to their employer to qualify for the accompanying Paternity Leave.

Full information on Paternity Benefit and how to apply for the Public Services Card is available online


Paternity Benefit Claims




  • 3,308 employees
  • 267 self-employed
Last modified:01/12/2016