New parental leave scheme: What it means for you and your baby

In November, a new parental leave scheme will come into effect, available to all new parents in employment or self-employment.

But what does it mean for parents and their children?

Under the scheme:

  • Parents will be able to avail of two weeks' leave and benefit in their first year,
  • They will receive €245 per week, the same rate as maternity and paternity benefits,
  • The scheme will extend incrementally so by 2021 parents will have an extra 14 weeks of paid leave,
  • The bill also proposes to take the finals steps for male same-sex couples to receive adoptive leave and benefit.

Government estimates suggest that up to 60,000 parents could benefit from the scheme in a year.

Minister for Employment and Affair Social Protection, Regina Doherty said not only parents and children, but society will benefit from the new scheme.

She said: "Firstly, in that formative first year of life, children now have the opportunity to spend more time with both parents.

"Secondly, on top of the recently introduced Paternity Benefit, this extends the leave benefits available to fathers."

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