| 5.1°C Dublin

55,000 new dads take up €240 paternity payment



Parliament delegates call on state to "liberate fertility"

Parliament delegates call on state to "liberate fertility"

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Parliament delegates call on state to "liberate fertility"

More than 55,000 new dads have claimed the €240-a-week paternity benefit payment since it was brought in two years ago.

New figures show 55,652 people availed of the two-week payment since it was rolled out in September 2016.

They included 4,325 self-employed fathers.

A total of 24,080 people claimed the payment last year, according to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Paternity benefit is paid for two weeks at any time within the first six months following birth or adoption.

Willie O'Dea, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on social protection, said it appeared to be a disappointing uptake in the scheme given the size of the workforce.

However, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said there was an extremely healthy update for the relatively new scheme and she expects it to grow.

"We would expect the takeup to grow even further as it beds down, and we continue to promote it," she said.

Irish Independent