Parent's Benefit Leave in Ireland is being extended from today - here's what you need to know
A boost for those availing of parental leave.
Irish people taking parental leave may now avail of seven weeks of paid Parent's Leave and Benefit under new Government measures that have officially come into play as of Friday, 1 July.
Parent's Benefit is payable to parents who take leave from work. It is available in respect of any child born or placed with their adoptive parents from 1 November, 2019.
The new measures will see the number of weeks that parents can take time off work increase from five to seven.
In 2021, a total of 51,400 parents in Ireland received the benefit, in contrast to 16,700 in 2020. Since the beginning of 2022, the total number of applications reached over 28,000.
Parent's Benefit is available to employed and self-employed parents who have the required number of PRSI contributions. It is paid at a rate of €250 per week – the same rate as Maternity, Paternity and Adoptive benefit.
Parents may avail of the benefit in a block of seven consecutive weeks or in separate weekly blocks over a longer period.
The extension from five to seven weeks means that those who qualify may now avail of a total payment of €1,750. Applications may be made via MyWelfare.ie.
If you are an employee , you must have:
- at least 39 weeks PRSI contributions paid in the 12 month periods before the first day of your Parent’s Benefit or
- at least 39 weeks PRSI contributions 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 Parent’s Leave in 2019, the relevant tax year is 2017 and the year following that is 2018 or
- 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 Parent’s Leave in 2019, the relevant tax year is 2017 and the year before that is 2016
Speaking on Friday, Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Roderic O'Gorman stated their commitment to a further expansion of Parent's Leave and Benefit to nine weeks in line with the Work Life Balance Directive.
"I’m delighted that from today, tens of thousands of families across the country will benefit from seven weeks paid parent’s leave and benefit," said Minister Humphreys.
“This is a support that we have increased over several Budgets and the significant raise in take-up demonstrates just how popular it is with parents.
"I believe strongly that the first few weeks and months spent with a new-born son or daughter is so important."