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Irish Maternity Benefit & Parental Leave

13 March 2007 | Ireland | 47 Responses by paul savage.

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

47 Responses

  1. Martin Fitzpatrick said on 11 Jun 2007 at 2:15 pm

    This is very useful

  2. Vince said on 26 Jan 2008 at 2:45 am

    Can I get maternitl leave 2008 details.

  3. a.erol said on 11 Feb 2008 at 3:26 am

    “26” weeks of paid maternity leave is quite good!

  4. thomas said on 28 Feb 2008 at 1:37 am

    hi,how much maternity leave for 2008

  5. Anna John said on 10 Mar 2008 at 11:40 am

    I am an Indian national working as a registered nurse in HSE Hospital Dublin. I am completed 2 years and renewed my contract for another two years. I renewed my Garda Card and Visa for another two years.
    Now I am thinking to apply for Green Card. Please let me know the following:-

    1.Based on my two years contract I am eligible to apply green card or not?

    2.How long will take to process the Green Card?

    3.If I am having a Green Card can I get a permanent resident status or nationality after 4 years?

    4.If I don’t have green card, only work visa is it possible to apply for permanent resident or nationality after 4 years?


    Anna John

  6. Anna John said on 17 Mar 2008 at 8:40 am

    My friend is a nurse working at HSE Hospital. She is pregnant now and planning to go India for delivery. If her delivery in India, Is she eligible to get maternity benefits?

  7. thomas said on 18 Mar 2008 at 2:34 am

    she will never get

  8. Kevin Byrne said on 25 Mar 2008 at 11:40 am

    Is there additional benefits for having twins?

  9. paul savage said on 25 Mar 2008 at 11:57 am

    Kevin : Maternity leave remains the same – however parental leave is per child so that doubles. And as for Child Benefit for multiple births

    The rate of child benefit paid for twins will be 1.5 times the normal monthly rate for each child. Where the multiple birth involves three or more children, the rate of benefit paid is double the monthly rate, provided at least three of the children remain qualified.
    from here
    Hope that helps,

  10. julie said on 9 Apr 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I am 4 month pregnant & cant get a job so i am on job seekers benifit. I was made redundant may 2007. Am i intiteld to any pay before my child is born to help me buy things for my baby, prams,clothes etc?

  11. Anna John said on 10 Apr 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Paul,
    My friend is a nurse working at HSE Hospital. She is pregnant now and planning to go India for delivery. If her delivery in India, Is she eligible to get maternity benefits?

  12. Regi said on 3 May 2008 at 11:34 am


    I heard that new maternity leave policy implementing from March 2008. I am an Indian nurse working in HSE. If I go to India for my delivery, Do I eligible to get maternity benefits and my kid can get child benefits?

    Please let me know.



  13. izabela kurek said on 11 May 2008 at 10:50 am

    I am planning with my husband(2 years work in Ireland)to get child.We come from Poland.I work in Ireland from 22 october,now I want to change job and my question is: is it change something for my maternity right if now I change job?how long I should stay in one job to get right to maternity benefits?my work is full and permanent.
    Thank You for help!

  14. Michelle said on 12 May 2008 at 10:12 am

    I was wondering do you have to be employed for a certain lenght of time before your entitled to maternity benefit. I am working in the hse and about to start a new position soon in a new hospital and need to be sure before I plan having a baby.

  15. Catherine said on 12 Jun 2008 at 11:04 am

    If you are unemployed are you entitled to Maternity benefit? Our if you work part time do you qualify?

  16. Barbara said on 25 Jun 2008 at 11:53 pm

    I am Barbara and im from Poland, im working in Ireland from july2007, now Im pregnat. I have paid PRSI from last yaer.I have a problem: I will get maternity benefit if I will born in Poland (I will born in december- thats my holiday time) maybe somebody help me 😉

  17. karen said on 18 Oct 2008 at 8:44 am

    Hi I am currently taking parental leave one day a week – ie a 4day week, if I go on maternity leave am I intitled to a 5 day pay package. thanks

  18. johny said on 2 Dec 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Hi I find this website very interesting. i am doing a project on parental leave and I was wondering can i get some information on it and on the uptake of parental leave, what gender mostly takes it and its advantages and disadvantages. this would be of great help thanks.

  19. katarzyna rydzik said on 28 Jan 2009 at 2:45 pm

    im working in ireland since 2001 and im on maternity leave at the moment.i should be back to work on 19 march but i want to take 16 weeks unpaid i have to filled any forms,or inform my employer about my plans?how to apply for unpaid leave?
    katarzyna rydzik from tralee

  20. Anca Matei said on 24 Mar 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Hy. im Anca from Roumania. im working in ireland since march 2008 and now im pregnat in 4 mounths. i have paid prsi from last year. the manager from the shop where i work told me that they dont pay maternity leave because they are a small bussiness. i want to know if i will get maternity leave? thanks

  21. lesley said on 26 Mar 2009 at 3:10 pm

    can parental be broken down into hours? eg. had a baby and going back to work but i need to reduce my hours, to mind baby

  22. Cardboard Fairy said on 11 May 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Anca, you should be entitled to maternity LEAVE bu your employer is not entitled to pay you the difference between what u normally earn and what you will receive in Maternity Benefit ( which you should be entitled to.
    Lesley my employer is willing to allow me take parental leave on an hourly and this is perfectly acceptable once records are kept by the employer…good luck with that

  23. Jeanette said on 22 May 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Hello my name is Jeanette, I’m 5 months pregnant, worked in a business from aug 2006 – end of March2008. After that I have been selfemployed – will I be entitled to maternity leave?What do I need to do to get it, if entitled?

  24. margaret said on 25 May 2009 at 4:37 pm

    hi I was just wondering if I take the parental leave one day a week does that mean it works out at 70 weeks please let me know as was hoping to write up an application this week thankyou

  25. Christine said on 18 Jun 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Hi I was just wondering, I am a student in Ireland and I have lived here for five years now.I am 19 and I am doing a course in VEC.I am living with my partner who is in full time work.I am pregnant and I was wondering is there any other benefits that I or my partner would be entitled to exept child benefit.

  26. Nicola Colgan said on 21 Jun 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Hi I work a 4 day week and was hoping to take parental leave of 1 day every fortnight.. Is this possible? My child is 2… Also is 14 weeks classes as 5 days as mentioned I only work 4 days per week.

  27. SHAJITH V JOSEPH said on 23 Jun 2009 at 2:57 pm


  28. Lisa Harty said on 8 Jul 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Hi, my name is Lisa, I am a single parent, and i am due back from mat leave in 2 weeks time. My employer cannot arrange for me to go back part time,& a as I have no one to child mind for me on a full time basis, (full time day care is close to €300 p/wk), I find myself really stuck as to what to do next, or who to go to for help and advise. Can anyone point me in the right direction please? I would really appreciate it.

    Thank You.

  29. sini said on 14 Jul 2009 at 2:47 pm

    my friend is a nurse working in HSE,she is planning to go to india for delivery.If so is she entitled to get maternity benefit

  30. info said on 16 Aug 2009 at 2:43 pm
    If you are from an EU country, you can get Maternity Benefit for any period of your maternity leave spent in another EU country.

    If you are not an EU citizen you will only get Maternity Benefit as long as you remain in the Republic of Ireland.

    You cannot receive payment when you are living outside the EU.

  31. jemma said on 16 Aug 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Hey all INDIAN nurses,u r not eligible for Mternity benefit for the period u spent in India.
    Dont u have enough time n sense to read the application form?For all NON EU nationals Irish govt wont entertain such luxury.Some of my Indian friends hide the right information that they r away frm Ireland and they got fine for that.

  32. M.Lees said on 5 Dec 2009 at 11:08 am

    Hello,I was just wondering can yoy work on your maternity leave? My boss wants me to go back to work for Christmas week because its so busy,but Im not finished my leave until February. Can I do this?

  33. irene said on 27 Jan 2010 at 12:15 pm

    hi i was enquiring there what to write in a letter to my employer i have two part time jobs with 2 years and i would like to know soon weather i would be intitled to anything i have 16 weeks to go i am recently out sick due to pregnancy issues and i will not be returinng to work and i am on illness benifit . please let me know

  34. anon said on 2 Mar 2010 at 8:17 am

    Hello, I am on maternity leave then parental leave. I have a 13 week old baby and not due back to work until Jan 11. I am pregnant again and was wondering if I am entitled to my full pay maternity leave again as I will not hav gone back to work before having the baby?

  35. Barbora Buričová said on 2 Mar 2010 at 8:17 am

    Chcem sa opýtať:Od 6.2006 až 10.2007 som pracovala na zmluvu v fast-food burgerking.Mám 14 mesačného syna a chcela by som ísť späť do Irska..Na čo všetko mám nárok?o aké dávky môžem požiadať?Čo všetko musím vybaviť na Slovensku?mám nárok na dávku aj zo slovenska?

  36. Deb said on 2 Mar 2010 at 8:18 am

    I have just been informed thay I could be made redundant. I have also just found out that I am pregnant, will I be entitled to maternity benefit if I am on jobseekers allowance?

  37. Rachel Stevenson said on 17 Mar 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Just wondering have you to take all the maternity leave that you are entitled to or can you go back to work earlier and stop maternity leave as currently there are three other girls at my workplace pregnant and will be out and we will not all be paid by the company

  38. dawn said on 2 Apr 2010 at 12:32 am

    i earn 2000 a mnth how much maternity pay will i recieve

  39. Eilís said on 4 Jun 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I am a childcare worker, my child stays in the creché I work in. I think it is effecting her because I work with other children I have seem to notice a jealous and upset change in her behaviour. I am entitled parental leave for the summer months, as I was thinking of taking time-out during the summer to spend time with her to holiday and do other activities to see if her behaviour would improve.

  40. Deirdre said on 22 Jun 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I took voluntary redundancy in December 2009 and am expecting my third child. Do I continue to receive Jobseekers allowance as per normal or should I be receiving maternity benefit?

  41. fahmeda said on 8 Jul 2010 at 8:03 pm

    i m a part time worker.i m pregnant now.i pay prsi,will i qulify for maternity benefits?

  42. Audra said on 19 Jul 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Hi.i live and work in ireland last 4 years.and i pregnant.for my own reasons i want to give a birth in my country which is one of EU country.i`m starting my moternity leave in november and will be back to work next year september.will i get my maternity benefit and child benefit if i sped all my maternity leave outside the ireland?

  43. sheila said on 29 Sep 2010 at 1:24 pm

    hi can u take six wks parental leave in one year and take the second six weeks the following year

  44. Lauren said on 14 Nov 2010 at 3:14 am

    Hi All..I am 4 weeks pregnaant and due to start a full time job with the hse next week, will i be entitled to maternity leave. I have not told them as i hav just found out??

  45. Ausra said on 14 Dec 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Hello, I wanted to ask about maternity benefits. Me and my husband are living in Ireland for four years. I was unemployed all that time, because we have a daughter 6 years old and son 2 months old now. My husband has been working all 4 years in Ireland. WE get FIS worth 20 euro per week. Is it possible for me to get maternity benefits?

  46. Jithu said on 24 Dec 2010 at 11:19 am

    hi my wife is working in dublin N Home and pregnant now will be on maternity leave from 1st Feb. 2011, now she is offered a permanant job offer for HSE Hospital, can she go for maternity and join in HSE (procedures are going to start next month) pls let me know HSE details when a job offered for a pregnant women in the last months. thanku

  47. Jithu said on 24 Dec 2010 at 11:21 am

    hi my wife is working in dublin N Home and pregnant now will be on maternity leave from 1st Feb. 2011, now she is offered a permanant job offer for HSE Hospital, can she go for maternity and join in HSE (procedures are going to start next month) pls let me know HSE details when a job offered for a pregnant women in the last months.
    thank you

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