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Paternity Leave

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Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 commenced on 1st September 2016.

The Act has two main tenets:

  • To entitle an Employee who is a “relevant parent” to 2 weeks leave from work to enable him or her to provide, or assist in the provision of, care to the child or to provide support to the relevant adopting parent or mother of the child, as the case may be, or both. The Act also entitles a surviving parent to avail of paternity leave on the death of a relevant parent.
  • To provide for the granting of State Paternity Benefit to Employees who meet the eligibility criteria for payment.

A relevant parent will be entitled to two continuous weeks' paid leave in respect of births from September 2016. Payment will be at the rate of €235 per week from 13th March 2017 (previously €230 per week from 2016 up to 13th March 2017), subject to a person having the appropriate PRSI contributions. This is the same as the current rate of maternity benefit. Similar to maternity leave, Employers can top up paternity benefit if they want.