Did you know that paternity leave was introduced for all fathers for all babies born or adopted after 1 September 2016?

It is the first time that fathers have the right to paid paternity leave for a two week period. The leave can be taken at any time during the 26 week period following birth or adoption. The benefit is worth €460 or €230 a week. There are a number of steps that need to be taken if you wish to avail of paternity leave. The following is a short guide to the steps that you need to consider if you wish to avail of paternity leave.

Steps to be taken:

  • You must take your paternity leave within six months of your child being born or placed for adoption;
  • You must take the full two weeks leave as one block – you cannot split it;
  • Your employer is entitled to four weeks written notice of your intention to take paternity leave;
  • When applying for this leave you must provide a certificate from your spouse or partner’s doctor confirming when your baby is due or if your baby is already born his or her birth certificate;
  • If adopting a child you must provide confirmation of the date of the child’s placement;
  • Self-employed men, as well as employees can get State paternity benefit as long as you are paying certain types of social insurance (PRSI).
  • Paternity leave is available to same-sex couples as well as heterosexual ones and includes a spouse, civil partner or co-habitant of the mother of the child.

Application Process

If you have a public services card you can apply for paternity benefit online. Otherwise you must fill out the paternity benefit application form known as the PB1. You can download this form from the Department of Social Protection website (www.welfare.ie) or by calling 1890 662244.
The amount of the payment you will receive may be reduced if you are already on certain Social Welfare payments including the One Parent Family payment and Widower’s State pension.

Your employer is not obliged to pay you during the paternity leave period. You will need to check your employment contract for any such entitlements.

Paternity leave is not to be confused with maternity leave which is the right of the woman who has given birth to the baby or who has adopted a baby, to a period of leave to allow the mother to look after the new born or adopted child.

Keep informed of your rights!