Extra parental leave for new parents

Two separate schemes are being rolled out to give an extra four weeks

Baby, saved, Dublin, Killiney, pharmacy, nurse, breathing, CPR, Crumlin Children's Hospital, Pat Murray

File photo of a mother holding the hand of a new baby | Image: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Parents of new children could get up to four weeks' extra paid parental leave in the New Year.

Two separate schemes are being rolled out to give time off to parents after the arrival of a new baby.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin, Enda Kenny says legislation for two weeks of paid paternity leave for new fathers will be approved by cabinet next week and the "aim is to have that in place by September".

The Taoiseach also said an extra fortnight of paid leave will also be allowed for in the Budget, which can be shared between both parents.

It is believed the extra leave will be funded through the social insurance scheme.

The move is being welcomed by campaigners as a significant step forward.

Former Senator Jillian Van Turnhout says it'll make life easier for parents as "the first year of a child's life is really important".

The children's rights campaigner said it will also help prevent employers thinking of parental leave as an issue that only affects female staff.

She says it will help "rebalance".