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19th Jun 2016

Paternity Leave and Paternity Benefit Bill To Be Enacted This Week (At Last)

Happy news for fathers-to-be, the Paternity Bill is to be formally published tomorrow, Monday the 20th of June and is expected to be introduced to the Dáil this Friday.

Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar have celebrated Father’s Day with confirmation of the Paternity Bill.

The bill will mean fathers will be given two weeks of paternity leave and will receive two weeks of paternity benefit.

Fathers will be entitled to avail of their leave and benefit at any point during the first six months after the birth of their baby. Fathers of newly-adopted children will also be eligible.

The paternity benefit of €230 a week will be paid out by the Department of Social Protection and employers will be welcome to make a contribution to make up the balance to correspond to the father’s regular salary if they wish.

“Parenting is changing, and fathers are more and more involved in raising their children,” Minister Varadkar told Newstalk. “It’s great to be able to do something for dads by providing paternity benefit to all PRSI contributors for the first time.”

“Ireland is behind the curve compared to our European colleagues, but this combined package of paternity leave and paternity benefit will help to address that.”

“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,” added Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald.

“All evidence suggests that the support of both parents at an early stage is in the best interests of the child.”