Minister Doherty Welcomes Encouraging Participation Rates by Dads in Paternity Benefit Scheme

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Minister Doherty Welcomes Encouraging Participation Rates
by Dads in Paternity Benefit Scheme

Over 50,000 people have availed of Paternity Benefit since its introduction
New Parental Leave Scheme on the way

Monday, 5 November, 2018: Since Paternity Benefit was introduced in September 2016, 51,409 people have availed of the two week payment provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. This includes some 4,100 self-employed people.

Paternity Benefit is a payment for employed and self-employed people who are on paternity leave from work and covered by pay related social insurance (PRSI). It is paid for two weeks and is available for any child born or adopted on or after 1 September 2016. Paternity leave can be taken at any time within the first six months following the birth or adoption placement. The current rate of Paternity Benefit is €240 per week. Following Budget 2019, this will increase to €245 per week from the week beginning 25 March 2019.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D. has welcomed the uptake of Paternity Benefit by working families.  She commented:
“I am delighted that working parents, both employees and self-employed, are availing of their PRSI to get two weeks paid Paternity Benefit following the birth or adoption of their baby. 

“The Government recognises the importance of providing support for parents of young children and is very much aware that the first year in a child’s life is of particular importance. This is very much emphasised in the programme for Government. 

“I was particularly pleased to secure a new Parental Benefit scheme which will allow both parents to access additional paid Parental Leave in the first year of their child’s life.  This means that both parents will have access to an additional two weeks each of Parental Benefit, which will also be paid at the rate of €245 per week.”

It is expected that this scheme will be introduced in late 2019 after the necessary legislation is in place. The Minister added:

“This new scheme is designed to be family-friendly and flexible. Parents will be able to take the new paid leave any time – and at the same time if they so wish – during their child’s first year. The first 12 months of life are incredibly formative for a child and the benefit of allowing parents’ greater time with a new baby will be beneficial to individual children, families and society as a whole. I am particularly happy that, with both paternal leave and this new parental leave scheme, we are creating more opportunities for fathers to have the time to spend with their new arrivals as this greatly benefits both child and parent.”


Note for Editors

A county by county breakdown of statistics on Paternity Benefit is attached.

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Last modified:05/11/2018