Paid paternity leave
When the recent Paternity Leave and Benefit Bill becomes law in September,(1st September 2016 ) all employers in Ireland will have to grant two weeks paternity leave to qualifying fathers in their employment.
The state will pay €230 per week in support to qualifying fathers. Leave can be taken withinin the first six months from the date of birth of their child. Adoptive parents and men in a same sex relationship can avail of the leave entitlements as all fathers are included, even self employed ones.
In addition, Irish parents can take up to 18 weeks unpaid paternal leave. This can be availed of up to their child's eighth birthday.
In the case of a child adopted between the ages of six and eight this period can be extended up to their tenth birthday. It is further extended to their 16th birthday where the child has a long term illness or disability.
The €230 payment is based on the same PRSI requirements as state maternity benefit.
This will bring Ireland more in line with the majority of EU countries.
Two extra weeks due
The budget is expected to contain provision for two more weeks parental leave which can be divided between the two parents. It is believed that this scheme will also be covered by social welfare.
Is it taxable?
Yes it is. Paternity benefit payable by the Department of Social Protection is liable to tax. USC and PRSI will not apply. PAYE earners will automatically have their annual tax credits and rate bands reduced by the amount of the Paternity Benefit payment.
What should an employer do?
All employers should incorporate these changes into their employment policies. We strongly recommed that you prepare a paternity leave and benefit policy for your business which addresses all of the points outlined in the recent legislation.
Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 Download here
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Image courtesy Paul