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.