Paid leave for new parents is set to be extended to five weeks from April
Good news for new parents and parents-to-be.
From the start of next month, paid parental leave is to be extended from two to five weeks and – even better – backdated for over a year too.
Paid parental leave currently entitles each parent to two weeks off work during the first year of their child’s life or within the first year of adoption. However, this will now be increased to five weeks.
What the the changes now mean, is that anyone who has had a baby since November 2019 will from April onwards be able to apply for five weeks of leave under the new scheme, which will be in place in the coming weeks.
It is estimated that increasing the scheme by three weeks will benefit up to 30,000 parents.
Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman stated last year that he is “committed to ensuring every child gets the best possible start in life, and supporting parents to spend more time with their kids is a big part of that”.
“I hope this five weeks paid parent’s leave will help mothers and fathers take that time in those precious first couple of years with their child,” he added.
Now Mr O’Gorman is bringing a memo to Cabinet extending the €245 a week benefit and has stated that he hopes the changes to law will be in place from April 1, in just three weeks from now.
Changes to legislation for same-sex couples too
Up until now, same-sex male couples have not been able to avail of the payment under the current legislation, however, under the new legislation also being brought to the cabinet by Minister O’Gorman, adoptive leave is now also being extended to same-sex male couples.
The minister is bringing amendment to existing legislation that will allow same-sex couples avail of 24 weeks adoptive leave benefits.
Currently, the €245 benefit is only paid to adoptive mothers or single males who adopt children.
The new amendment will allow males couples designate a recipient of adoptive leave who can then apply for the 24 weeks leave. The legislative change will be made to the Adoptive Leave Act 1995.