Wednesday 13 December 2017

Set to be a new dad? You'll be benefiting from the new paid paternity leave bill

Stock photo: Getty
Stock photo: Getty
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

New fathers will be entitled to paid paternity leave under a new bill to be introduced in the Dáil tomorrow.

Marking Father's Day today, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed the publication of the Paternity Bill.

It will come into effect in September and will mean new fathers will receive two weeks of paternity leave and two weeks of paternity benefit. The leave can be taken within six months of the birth of a child. It will also apply to the fathers of newly adopted children.

The rate will be €230 per week for all new fathers, including the self-employed, and employers may top up this rate.

Mr Varadkar also confirmed the scrapping of the current €20 charge for registering a still birth.

"This legislation has been a priority for me since the new Partnership Government was established in May," the Tanaiste said. 

"I have been a strong advocate for the necessity of paid paternity leave for many years. Consistent findings show that targeting investment in a child’s early years leads to better outcomes for both the child and wider society.

“As a former Minister for Children I know how important it is for fathers to have the opportunity to be involved at the earliest stages of a child’s development. All evidence suggests that the support of both parents at an early stage is in the best interests of the child.

“I strongly support the Government’s commitment to significantly increase parental leave over the next five years and cut the cost of childcare. I hope all members of the Oireachtas will play their part in facilitating this priority legislation through the Houses over the coming weeks."

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