Budget 2019 to grant parents extra fortnight of paid leave to spend with children
The scheme is not expected to be available until late 2019 at the earliest.
New parents are set to benefit from an extra two weeks of paid leave to spend with their baby as part of the proposed 2019 Budget.
According to the Irish Independent, the extra parental leave – which will be made available to both mothers and fathers – will not be transferable between parents, so if one parent does not take their share, they will lose out. The leave must be taken in the first year of a child's life.
It's expected to run along the same lines as maternity benefit, which is a payment made by the State of €240 a week.
The leave will be in addition to the already instated 26 weeks of maternity leave, two weeks of paternity leave and 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave that must be taken before the child's eighth birthday or up to a child's 16th birthday if that child has a serious illness.
As well as this, if a child was adopted between the age of six and eight, leave in respect of that child may be taken up to two years after the date of the adoption order.
However, there is no obligation on employers to pay an employee during this time.
The introduction of paid parental leave has been a key figure in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's campaigns for a number of years.
Those benefits would be better sick pay, parental leave, improved medical cover #fgle17
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) May 28, 2017
In 2017, the Taoiseach mentioned how he was adamant that the Budget should be one that focuses on easing the financial burden facing parents, but some say that the measures envisaged can only be rolled out over a ten year period.
On Newstalk Breakfast on Monday morning, head of advocacy with Early Childhood Ireland Frances Byrne said that the proposals are most welcome – but there needs to be more pay and more time off.
“Parents get – in the case of the mother for six months and in the case of the dad two weeks – €235 per week,” she said. “Now, that is a big drop in salary."
“We need to moving towards about 66% of salary and building up towards that year that the Government has committed to."