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B. Key Considerations

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Leave/ Benefit:

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.

Eligibility for Paternity Leave

Under the Act, a “relevant parent” for the purposes of paternity leave entitlement includes:

  • The father of the child
  • The spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the mother of the child
  • The parent of a donor-conceived child

In the case of an adopted child, the relevant parent includes:

  • The nominated parent in the case of a married same-sex couple or
  • The spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the adopting mother or sole male adopter

The entitlement to 2 weeks’ paternity leave from employment extends to all Employees (including casual workers), regardless of how long you have been working for the organisation or the number of hours worked per week. If more than one child is born or adopted at the same time, for example, twins, you are only entitled to a single period of 2 weeks’ paternity leave.

Entitlement for Paternity Benefit

Paternity Benefit is a payment for employed and self-employed people who are on paternity leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). It is paid for 2 weeks and is available for any child born or adopted on or after 1 September 2016. An Employee can start paternity leave at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement.

The Employees should apply for the payment 4 weeks before they intend to go on paternity leave (12 weeks if they are self-employed).

If an Employee is already on certain social welfare payments then they may get half-rate Paternity Benefit.