Wednesday 19 December 2018

Explainer: How will the new parental leave work?

My baby son used to wake at 2am sharp, and I would pace the floor with him, singing every song I knew, from ‘Frère Jacques’ to ‘Me and Bobby McGee’. Stock Image
My baby son used to wake at 2am sharp, and I would pace the floor with him, singing every song I knew, from ‘Frère Jacques’ to ‘Me and Bobby McGee’. Stock Image
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

From late next year, both parents will have access to two weeks each (non-transferable) of this new parental benefit.

It will be paid at the same rate as maternity and paternity benefit, which is €245 per week.

The Government has now promised to incrementally increase the time away from work up to seven weeks by 2021. It has budgeted for up to 65,000 individual parents to benefit from the scheme in its first full year of operation, which will be 2020.

According to the Department of Social Protection, the scheme is designed to be family friendly and flexible.

Parents will be able to take the new paid leave any time - and at the same time if they so wish - during their child's first year.

The department said the basis for the new leave is that the first 12 months of life "are incredibly formative for a child and the benefit of allowing parents greater time with a new baby will be beneficial to individual children, families and society as a whole".

Prior to the introduction of the scheme, the Government will need to enact the necessary legislation and introduce the appropriate technical systems.

The Department of Justice and Equality will also need to introduce additional complementary legislation.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said she was "particularly pleased that this measure recognises the need to incentivise fathers to take more time off work to care for their children than has been the case up to now".

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News