Friday 23 June 2017

The 60-second guide to... getting your State paternity leave

You can apply for paternity benefit online if you have a Public Services Card. Otherwise, you must fill out the paternity benefit application form, known as PB1 (Stock picture)
You can apply for paternity benefit online if you have a Public Services Card. Otherwise, you must fill out the paternity benefit application form, known as PB1 (Stock picture)

Since the start of this month, new dads can apply for two weeks paid paternity leave - for children born or adopted on or after September 1, 2016.

The benefit is worth €460, or €230 a week. That's not enough to pay the bills but it's better than nothing - and it's the first time that fathers have a right to paid paternity leave. Here's how to get it:

You must take your paternity leave within six months of your child being born or placed for adoption.

You must take the full two weeks leave as one block - you cannot split it.

Give four weeks notice to your employer of your intention to take paternity leave.

When applying for the leave, you must provide a certificate from your spouse or partner's doctor confirming when your baby is due - or, if your baby is already born, his or her birth certificate.

If adopting a child, provide confirmation of the date of the child's placement.

Self-employed men, as well as employees, can get State paternity benefit as long as they're paying certain types of social insurance (PRSI). A self-employed dad must be paying Class S PRSI contributions to qualify while an employee must be paying Class A, E or H.

Paternity benefit is available to same-sex couples, as well as heterosexual ones.

You can apply for paternity benefit online if you have a Public Services Card. Otherwise, you must fill out the paternity benefit application form, known as PB1. You can download this form from the Department of Social Protection's website (www.welfare.ie) or by calling 1890 662244.

You may only get €115 a week of paternity benefit, or €230 in total, if you are already on certain social welfare payments, including the one-parent family payment and the widower's State pension.

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