Up to 60,000 parents are set to receive paid parental leave and benefit following the publication of new legislation today (Tuesday).

It means all parents will each be entitled to two weeks' paid parental leave for a child under the age of one.

Subject to the legislation being passed, the new Parental Leave Scheme will come into effect in November.

Galway East TD and Minister of State for Rural and Community Development Seán Canney says it’s  good news for all parents and a statement of intent to establish and expand paid parental leave going forward.

He told Midwest News this morning that the Government is committed to the phased introduction of seven weeks' paid leave per parent over the next three years. It also further extends the rights of fathers following the recent introduction of Paternity Benefit.

An estimated 60,000 parents are likely to be eligible for the benefit in any one full year.

The legislation will also enable male same-sex couples to receive adoptive leave and benefit, closing an existing loophole in the law.

Parental Leave will be non-transferable so that both parents need to take the leave or it will be lost. 

The non-transferable provision is intended to incentivise fathers to take more time off from work to care for their children.

Under the scheme, both parents will have access to two weeks each for babies born from this November onwards. The benefit will be paid at the same rate as Maternity and Paternity Benefit at €245 a week.

It will be up to employers to decide if they will provide a top-up payment to employees earning a higher salary level.


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