Broad welcome for paternity leave legislation being discussed by government

Fathers will get €230 a week during the time they are off work

Broad welcome for paternity leave legislation being discussed by government

A new born baby's feet are visible peeking out of a shawl | Image: Andrew Matthews / PA Archive/PA Images

There has been a broad welcome for legislation being discussed by the government, which will see fathers entitled to two weeks paid paternal leave.

The new statutory benefit will be paid at a rate of €230 a week - the same as maternity leave.

Under legislation being discussed by the Cabinet today, fathers will have the option to apply for paid paternity leave from September of this year.

Until now, Ireland has been lagging behind most other European countries by not having it enshrined in employment law.

Dr Evelyn Mahon is a Sociologist at Trinity College Dublin. She told Newstalk Breakfast earlier this legislation is an acknowledgement by the State of the changing role of fathers in the family.

Fathers will be able to take paternity leave at any stage during the first 26 weeks of their child's life.

These men in Dublin had mixed views on the issue.

Paternity leave will be paid at a rate of €230 a week - the same as maternity benefit, and based on the same PRSI contribution requirements.

Director of Start Strong, Ciairín de Buis, says while this is a step in the right direction the issue of paid parental leave - which would be split between a mother and a father - needs to be addressed.