Paternity Benefit was introduced on September 1st 2016 . Every employer in Ireland must now offer new fathers two weeks’ paternity leave in the first 6 months following the birth of a child. Since it was introduced – just over 51,000 people have claimed Paternity Benefit up to the end of 2018.
Fathers who have children born after 1st September 2016 have the option of applying for 2 weeks’ paternity leave. This will be paid at a minimum of €245 per week, based on the same PRSI contributions as required for Maternity Benefit. Fathers can start paternity leave at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement.
A new parental benefit was introduced in late 2019 and provided for 2 weeks’ paid leave to each parent of a child aged under 2 years on parental leave from work.
In April 2021 – this parental benefit was extended to 5 weeks.
.Parent’s Benefit will be paid at the same rate as Maternity, Paternity and Adoptive benefits, which is €245 per week.
These 5 weeks will be in addition to that already available under maternity benefit and paternity benefit.
It is non-transferrable between parents to ensure that both parents are encouraged and supported in taking time out from work to spend time with their child.
Apply for Paternity Leave
You should apply to your employer in writing at least 4 weeks before taking your paternity leave. You must provide your employer with proof of the expected date of confinement of your spouse or partner. In other words, you will be required to provide a certificate from your spouse or partner’s doctor confirming when your baby is due, or confirmation of the actual date of birth if you are applying for leave after the birth.
If you are adopting a child, you must provide confirmation of the date of the child’s placement.
If you are self employed you need to apply 12 weeks in advance.
Paternity Benefit is paid directly into your bank or building society account – or you can choose to have it paid directly into your employer’s bank account.
Note: Some employers will continue to pay an employee, in full, while the employee is on paternity leave. In such cases the employer will generally require the employee to have any Paternity Benefit paid to them. You should check your contract of employment to see what applies to you.
Applicants for Paternity Benefit must register for a Public Services Card (if you don’t already have one) and register with mywelfare.ie
Not Only For Men
Paternity Benefit can be claimed by the spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of the mother, regardless of gender or by the spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of the adopting mother or by the spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of a sole male adopter.
Provision is also made in the legislation that Paternity Benefit can be paid to the father of the child in cases where the father is not a spouse, cohabitant or civil partner of the child’s mother.
The following requirements might seem confusing – but our advice is to apply anyway , the worse that can happen is you don’t qualify.
PRSI contributions can be from both employment or self-employment – the PRSI classes that count for Paternity Benefit are A, E, H and S (self-employed). Paternity Benefit is not payable to serving members of the Defence Forces who pay PRSI at Class H.
If you are employed you must have:
At least 39 weeks PRSI paid in the 12-month period before the first day of your paternity leave.
At least 39 weeks PRSI paid since first starting work and at least 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year or in the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014 and the year following that is 2015
At least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the relevant tax year and at least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014 and the year before that is 2013.
If you do not meet these PRSI conditions and you were self-employed before starting work as an employee, you can use your Class S (self employed) contributions to qualify for Paternity Benefit – see PRSI conditions for self-employed people below.
If you are self-employed you must be in insurable employment and have:
52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014.
52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2016, the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year is 2013
52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2016, the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year is 2015.
Note: If you were previously insurably employed in a country covered by EU Regulations, you may combine your insurance record in that country with your Irish PRSI contributions to help you qualify for Paternity Benefit
For more details you can call the Dept of Social Protection on : 1890 66 22 44
The quickest way you can apply for Paternity Benefit online is by logging onto mywelfare.ie