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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton has welcomed the introduction of two weeks paid paternity leave for fathers in September. The Paternity Leave Act 2015 which has now passed through the Oireachtas will provide for two weeks paternity leave for fathers whose children are born on or after September 1st.

“As Minister of State at the Department of Justice I was pleased to be very involved in the passage of this important piece of legislation through Dail and Seanad. This legislation is aimed at recognising the role of fathers in raising their children and will afford them the opportunity to be more involved at the earliest stages of a child’s development. In fact it will be beneficial for the whole family, as studies show that targeting investment in a child’s early years leads to better outcomes for both the child and wider society.

“When enacted, this legislation will allow new working fathers to take two weeks off work, at any time within the first six months following birth to help care for their newborn child. In addition, the new law will also apply to fathers of newly adopted children

“As well as an entitlement to paternity leave, fathers will also qualify for paternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection of €230 per week. As with maternity benefit, employers will also have the option of providing a further top-up to the Dad’s regular salary if they wish.

“The Paternity Leave Act meets the commitment made in Budget 2016 and in the Programme for Government. Fine Gael is also committed to significantly increasing parental leave for parents over the next five years and to cutting the cost of childcare as we want to give every child the best possible start in life.