Varadkar marks Mother’s Day by calling on more employers to offer better maternity packages


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  • Maternity Benefit rises to €235 per week – more than €1,000 a month
  • Govt encourages mothers to use MyWelfare.ie to apply on-line 

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has marked Mother’s Day with a call on more employers to provide the best possible maternity packages for their employees.

The Minister joined some mothers for a visit to Facebook’s International HQ in Dublin to discuss that company’s policies with Colin Graham, Director, International Compensation and Benefits at Facebook.

The rate of Maternity Benefit has now increased to €235 per week - that's more than €1,000 a month - as promised in Budget 2017, and is payable for up to 26 weeks following birth.

Speaking during the visit, Minister Varadkar urged more employers to offer the best possible maternity package to employees.

Minister Varadkar said: “I know that many companies in Ireland offer excellent packages but many others could do better and can afford to do better. Today, I urge all employers to be as generous as possible with their maternity packages. Earlier this month, the Government increased Maternity Benefit to €235 per week, or more than €1,000 a month, following Budget 2017, which is payable for 26 weeks to qualifying mothers. I encourage more employers to top up this payment and to offer full pay for all or as many of the 26 weeks they can afford.

“Facebook is one of many companies providing a generous maternity package to staff. I was first struck by this company’s policies when I learned that it offers four months of paid paternity leave. Its policies for mothers are also enlightened with up to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave and another 14 weeks of optional unpaid maternity leave, plus baby cash and in house parenting programmes.

“Not only is it the right thing to do to treat mothers well in the workplace, but Ireland also needs to be competitive internationally. If we want to retain our staff, and attract talent from abroad, it’s important that our workplaces are welcoming places for families.”

The Minister has also encouraged expectant mothers to apply online for Maternity Benefit at www.MyWelfare.ie.

In order to sign up for the Department’s online application facility, an expectant mother should ensure that she has registered for a Public Services Card and that she has associated her mobile phone with this registration. Appointments for Public Services Card registration can be made online at www.MyWelfare.ie or by contacting any Intreo Centre. Once registered for a Public Services card the process of creating an online profile can be completed speedily using any device (laptop, smartphone, etc.).  This enables the expectant mother to avail of a growing number of online services from the Department, including applying for Maternity Benefit. An advantage with applying online is that a high percentage of online applications result in a fully automated award of benefit, with a very speedy response to the customer. Customers can also track the progress of their claim using the www.MyWelfare.ie facility.

Ends

Overview

Maternity Benefit is a payment made for 26 weeks to employed and self-employed women who satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions on their own insurance record. The original scheme was introduced in 1970 and has been extended to include the self-employed contributors from June 1997.  The weekly benefit paid was increased from €230 to €235 in Budget 2017, or more than €1,000 a month.

The main provisions relating to Maternity Benefit are contained in the Maternity Protection Acts, 1994 and 2004, Chapter 9 of Part II of Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005, and Chapter 2 of Part II of Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations, 2007 (as amended).

Claim statistics

The number of Maternity Benefit claims awarded in 2016 and between 01/01/17 and 28/02/17 is:


Maternity Benefit

Awarded

2016

41,406

01/01/17 – 28/02/17

6,116

 

Breakdown of recipients by county and age is available for actual recipients at end of 2016 only and is set out in the tables below:


County

Maternity Benefit

Carlow

203

Cavan

297

Clare

426

Cork

2,196

Donegal

519

Dublin

5,601

Galway

1,070

Kerry

498

Kildare

964

Kilkenny

392

Laois

324

Leitrim

146

Limerick

721

Longford

155

Louth

509

Mayo

479

Meath

839

Monaghan

264

Offaly

285

Roscommon

227

Sligo

242

Tipperary

597

Waterford

416

Westmeath

338

Wexford

541

Wicklow

595

Others

168

Total

19,012

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Age of
Recipient

Maternity Benefit

18 years

2

19 years

19

20 years

25

21 years

89

22 years

147

23 years

166

24 years

238

25 to 29 years

2,515

30 to 34 years

7,302

35 to 39 years

6,882

40 to 44 years

1,529

45 to 49 years

94

50 to 54 years

4

Total

19,012

 

Last modified:26/03/2017