For Written Answer on : 09/05/2023
Question Number(s): 259 Question Reference(s): 21729/23
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Enterprise; Trade and Employment the efforts being made by his Department to encourage the take up of paternity leave in the workplace; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides for statutory paternity leave and benefit, and is a policy matter for my colleague, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. The Act provides a new parent with an entitlement to 2 weeks’ leave within 26 weeks of their child’s birth or, in the case of adoption, of their child’s placement. The parent may also qualify for Paternity Benefit.
The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 introduced an individual leave and benefit entitlement for parents of a child in their earliest years. This entitlement has been increased in recent years and is now seven weeks for each parent to be taken within the first two years of the child’s life.
This leave is in addition to Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave entitlements, which currently stand at 26 weeks and 2 weeks with the associated benefit. An additional 16 weeks of unpaid Maternity Leave can also be taken.
The payment of benefits and the level of the payment are a matter for the Minister for Social Protection.
Family leave provisions are kept under review to ensure that they are appropriate to the needs of working parents.
I strongly encourage new parents to take up these forms of leave, which were introduced to ensure new parents can spend time with their child in the crucial earliest period of their life.
The Workplace Relations Commission, under the auspices of my own Department, provides clear and accessible information on the entitlement to paternity leave and to other forms of leave for parents. Where there is any dispute in relation to any of those forms of leave, it may be referred to an adjudication officer of the WRC.