Government to extend paid maternity and paternity leave by two weeks

Paid maternity and paternity leave is set to be extended by two weeks.

Parents will soon be able to avail of an additional two weeks of paid leave. The new legislation is for parents whose child is born/adopted from November 1, 2019.

The two weeks must be used within the first year of your child’s life and they cannot be transferred between parents.

Speaking of the new legislation, Minister Flanagan said, “The first year of a child’s life is one of the most important in terms of the child building a relationship and a bond with both parents.”

Women in Ireland are currently entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave, as well as 16 weeks' additional unpaid maternity leave, which begins immediately after the end of maternity leave.

The Paternity Leave and Benefits Act 2016 allows men to take paternity leave of two weeks. The provisions apply to births and adoptions on or after 1 September 2016. You can start paternity leave at any time within the first six months following the birth or adoption placement. 

The Government hopes this legislation will help parents who are struggling with childcare arrangements and expenses

It is believed it will benefit up to 60,000 parents in a year.

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill is set to be brought before the Seanead and then the Dáil in the next few weeks.

The new legislation is expected to be passed by November 1.