956 Meath Dads took paternity leave last year

Story by Ann Casey

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 11:54am

956 Meath Dads took paternity leave last year

956 Meath  men availed of Paternity Benefit last year, according to figures shared by Minister Regina Doherty.

The Social Protection Minister said the schene is proving very popular since its introduction in September 2016.   

Latest statistics from the Department show that 24,080 people availed of the payment in 2018 – including 956 in County Meath.  Overall, some 55,652 people have availed of the two week payment since September 2016, including 4,325 self-employed. 

Minister Doherty believes that the two week Paternity Benefit payment provides a great opportunity for new parents. 

“I am delighted that the relatively recent paternity leave is proving so popular. This is not just good for Dads but improves the quality of life for all the family. I would encourage all working parents in Meath, both employees and self-employed who are expecting or adopting a new baby to avail of their PRSI and to take their paternity leave.  This is just one of the supports that this Government has introduced for parents of young children.”

Paternity Benefit is a social welfare payment for employed and self-employed people who take paternity leave from work and are covered by their Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). The scheme is available to employees paying PRSI Class A, E or H contributions and to self-employed people paying PRSI Class S contributions.

It is paid for two weeks to cover paternity leave and is available for any child born or adopted. Paternity leave can be taken at any time within the first six months following the birth or adoption placement. The current rate of Paternity Benefit is €240 per week. It will increase to €245 per week from the week beginning 25 March 2019, as provided for in Budget 2019. 

“Later this year, when the necessary legislation is in place, the new Parental Benefit scheme that we announced in Budget 2019 will be available to both parents providing for additional paid parental leave in the first year of their child’s life.  Both parents will have access to an additional two weeks each of Parental Benefit, which will also be paid at the rate of €245 per week.”