Working parents will soon be able to look forward to spending an extra two weeks leave with their new-born, or newly adopted children, thanks to a Bill published late on Friday evening by Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan T.D., Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D. and Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, T.D.
The Bill will provide for 2 weeks paid parent’s leave for each parent of a child who is born, or adopted, from 1 November, 2019.
Announcing the publication of the Bill, Minister Flanagan estimated up to 60,000 people could benefit from the scheme in a full year. Making the point that the Government is prioritising families, he said:
“Having a new baby is a magical time, but it can also be very challenging. We want to support parents and help give them more opportunities to spend time with their children. In both 2017 and 2018 almost 25,000 new fathers availed of the newly established 2 week paid Paternity Leave scheme, and I would hope all new parents would avail of this new scheme once it is established. The first year of a child’s life is one of the most important in terms of the child building a relationship and a bond with both parents.”
Minister Stanton highlighted the Government’s continued commitment to supporting working parents and promoting greater work life balance. He said:
“This legislation provides for two weeks paid parents leave, and it is intended that this leave will increase over time. This Bill is a further demonstration of this Government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring new parents can enjoy a proper work-life balance in the initial few months of their child’s life.”
Also speaking on the publication of the Bill, Minister Doherty said,
“This two weeks paid parental leave is an important support for working parents in Ireland. The legislation that is currently underway to introduce the payment provides for paid parental leave for each parent of a child under one, who is an employee or self-employed. This payment is in addition to existing maternity, paternity and adoptive leave entitlements. It will provide working parents with a further opportunity to spend more time with their new baby during its first year which is of particular importance. This Government is committed to extending the leave available to new parents over the coming years and making life better for all new and growing families.”
The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill delivers on a Programme for Government commitment to increase paid parental leave in the first year of a child’s life. It is intended that this Bill will be brought before the Seanad in the coming weeks, with passage through both Houses expected before 1 November, 2019.