Good News For New Dads

In September 2016, under the new Paternity Leave and Benefits Act, new Fathers are entitled to Statutory Paternity Leave of 2 weeks from employment or self-employment following the birth or adoption of a child. The provisions apply to births and adoptions on or after 1 September 2016. You can start paternity leave at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement. You may qualify for Paternity Benefit from the Department of Social Protection if you have sufficient PRSI contributions. It is your responsibility to claim this payment from the State.
Under the Act, a “relevant parent” for the purposes of paternity leave entitlement includes:

  • The father of the child
  • The spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the mother of the child
  • The parent of a donor-conceived child

In the case of an adopted child, the relevant parent includes:

  • The nominated parent in the case of married same-sex couple or
  • The spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the adopting mother or the sole male adopter

The entitlement to 2 weeks’ paternity leave from employment extends to all employees (including casual workers), regardless of how long you have been working for us or the number of hours worked per week. If more than one child is born or adopted at the same time, for example, twins, you are only entitled to a single period of 2 weeks’ paternity leave.
You can choose to take paternity leave at any time in the 26 weeks following the birth or adoption. You must notify management in writing that you intend to take paternity leave and provide your intended dates no later than 4 weeks before your leave. You will be required to provide a certificate from your spouse or partner’s doctor confirming when your baby is due, or confirmation of the baby’s actual date of birth if you apply for leave after the birth has occurred. In the case of adoption, you must produce a certificate of placement in relation to the child.
The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides for postponement of paternity leave. For example, if the birth is later than expected or if the date of placement of an adopted child is postponed, you may postpone the date of the leave.