Paternity leave for new fathers from September 1st

A new bill being published today will see fathers entitled to two weeks' paid leave

Paternity leave for new fathers from September 1st

Health Minister Leo Varadkar | Photocall file photo

The Social Protection Minister says new paternity leave for fathers will come into effect from September 1st.

The new bill will be published in the Dáil today and will see fathers receiving two weeks’ paid leave following the birth of their new baby.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning Leo Varakdar said he sees no reason for the start date to be any later than that.

“The only real delaying factor would be getting the legislation through the Dáil and the Seanad, but we're confident that with cross-party support for this and good cooperation with both houses, we will get it through.”

The new measures will give new fathers a “statutory right to two weeks’ leave from work within the first 26 weeks of their new child's birth”.

Minister Varadkar said a payment of €230 will be paid out by the Department of Social Protection for each week of leave, provided the person has been paying PRSI.

In some cases private employers may contribute a portion to ensure that workers receive the same salary for the two weeks, and public employees will get full pay.

Minister Varadkar said: "It also applies to the self-employed."

He also stated that the power is with the parent to choose when they take the time off, but it is expected that employers would be given at least 4 weeks’ notice to allow them to plan.

"There is of course special provisions if the baby comes early, or if a tragedy happens," he added, “and it also applies to adoption.”

The measure is expected to cost the state around €5 million this year and €20 million over a full year, assuming that 40,000 fathers take the leave annually.

Leo Varadkar said the computer systems in his department are ready to go and he believes they will be set up to allow payments to be processed by September 30th, with payment made “after the fact”.