Parents can now avail of seven weeks’ paid Parent’s Leave and Benefit, as part of new measures introduced today.
The measures will see the number of weeks that parents can take time off work, with financial support from the State, increase from five weeks to seven weeks.
The support applies to both parents and is part of the Government’s ambition to ensure that parents can enjoy “meaningful quality time” with their new-born in the knowledge they will be financially supported.
Parent’s Leave and Benefit is available to anyone with a child under two years of age or who has adopted a child within the last two years.
The take-up of Parent’s Leave and Benefit has increased three-fold since 2020. In 2021, a total of 51,400 parents were supported, compared to just 16,700 in 2020.
Since the start of 2022, the total number of applications awarded reached over 28,000.
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said she is committed to a further expansion of Parent’s Leave and Benefit to nine weeks in line with the Work Life Balance Directive.
Minister Humphreys said she “strongly” believes that the first few weeks and months spent with a new-born child is “so important”.
“I’m delighted that from today, tens of thousands of families across the country will benefit from seven weeks paid parent’s leave and benefit,” she said.
“This is a support that we have increased over several Budgets and the significant raise in take-up demonstrates just how popular it is with parents.
“I’m committed to working closely with my colleague, Minister O’Gorman, in delivering further increases in this support. Because by doing so, we will ensure that mothers and fathers who experience that special occasion of welcoming their child into the world, will know that their State supports them.”
Minister for Children and Equality Roderic O’Gorman said welcoming a child into the world is one of the “most important moments in a parent’s life”.
“We want to ensure that new parents are supported to spend quality time with their babies in those first weeks and months and be there to share special bonding moments,” he said.
“Since the formation of this Government, we have increased Parent’s Leave and Benefit from two weeks to seven weeks, enabling tens of thousands of new parents to take time away from work knowing that they are financially supported.
“I am delighted that we have been able to support these parents to spend more time with their families, and I hope the increase we have announced today encourages even more parents to take up the offer of paid parent’s leave.”
Parent’s Benefit is available to employed and self-employed parents with the required number of social insurance (PRSI) contributions. It is available to parents within two years of their child’s birth or adoption.
Parent’s Benefit is paid at a rate of €250 a week. This is the same rate as Maternity, Paternity and Adoptive benefit.
Seven weeks payment is now available for each parent, representing a payment of €1,750 per parent.