Since the budget in 2007, Irish mothers are entitled to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, which is an increase of 4 weeks since the previous budget. And there is a further 16 weeks entitlement for unpaid maternity leave. Maternity leave is paid at the rate of 80% of your average weekly wages for the previous year, and it is at minimum €207.80 and a maximum €280.00 per week. The correct term for this is Maternity Benefit
Irish Paternity Benefit
Currently there is no policy for paid/unpaid paternity leave in Ireland. But there is something called Parental Leave (see below) which may apply.
Parental Leave in Ireland
The Parental Leave Act 1998, as amended by the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006, allows parents in Ireland to take parental leave from employment in respect of certain children. A person acting in loco parentis with respect to an eligible child is also eligible.
You are not entitled to pay from your employer while you are on parental leave nor are you entitled to any social welfare payment equivalent to Maternity Benefit or Adoptive Benefit. Parental leave is available for each child and amounts to a total of 14 weeks per child. Where an employee has more than one child, parental leave is limited to 14 weeks in a 12-month period. This can be longer if the employer agrees. (This restriction does not apply in the case of a multiple birth, such as twins or triplets.)
Rules for Parental Leave
- Generally you need to be working for 1 year for this to apply.
- Parental leave is to be used only to take care of the child concerned. If the parental leave is taken and used for another purpose the employer is entitled to cancel the leave.
- You need to give 6 weeks written notice of your request. This should state the starting date and how long it will last
Maternity Benefit / Parental Leave Summary
|Type||Paid / Unpaid||Duartion|
|Maternity Leave||Paid Leave||26 weeks|
|Maternity Leave||Unpaid Leave||16 weeks|
|Parental Leave||Unpaid Leave||14 weeks|