Budget 2016 saw the announcement of statutory paternity leave, something that has been on the cards for a number of years, but which now appears close to publication.
Paternity leave of two weeks at a rate of €230 per week is scheduled to take effect from September 2016 and it will be based on the same PRSI requirements as maternity leave. Fathers will be entitled to take paid leave within 26 weeks of the birth of a child.
Parental leave has been in existence since 1988, but uptake amongst men has been extremely low as it is unpaid. It is highly recommended that employers draft up a policy covering paternity leave stating how same may be applied for; together with any other applicable provisions. The new Family Law Bill which is expected to be published sometime in Spring is expected to be the vehicle through which paternity leave entitlements will be enacted.
This new Family Law Bill will therefore cover carer’s leave, parental leave, maternity leave, and adoptive leave.