Ministers confirm Paternity Bill will see fathers receive €230 per week

It will provide fathers with two weeks of leave and two weeks paternity benefit

Paternity Bill, published, fathers, leave, paid leave, mothers, Frances Fitzgerald, Leo Varadkar

Ministers Leo Varadkar and Franes Fitzgerald surrounded by families | Image via @campaignforleo on Twitter

Ministers Frances Fitzgerald and Leo Varadkar have marked Father's Day by confirming publication of the Paternity Bill.

This will provide fathers with two weeks of paternity leave and two weeks of paternity benefit.

The justice and social protection ministers visited Farmleigh in Dublin to promote the bill to families.

It will be formally published on Monday and introduced to the Dáil this coming Friday.

When enacted, it will allow new fathers to start the combined package of paternity leave and paternity benefit at any time, within the first six months following birth.

It will also apply to the fathers of newly-adopted children.

The Department of Social Protection will provide paid paternity benefit of €230 per week for the two weeks of paternity leave.

Employers will also have the option of providing a further top-up to the father's regular salary - if they so choose.

"Parenting is changing"

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said: "It's great to be able to do something for dads by providing paternity benefit to all PRSI contributors for the first time."

"Parenting is changing and fathers are more and more involved in raising their children."

"Ireland is behind the curve compared to our European colleagues but this combined package of paternity leave and paternity benefit will help to address that," he added.

While Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said: "This legislation has been a priority for me since the new Partnership Government was established in May."

"I have been a strong advocate for the necessity of paid paternity leave for many years. Consistent findings show that targeting investment in a child’s early years leads to better outcomes for both the child and wider society."

"As a former Minister for Children I know how important it is for fathers to have the opportunity to be involved at the earliest stages of a child’s development."

"All evidence suggests that the support of both parents at an early stage is in the best interests of the child", she added.