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Maternity and paternity leave to be extended by two weeks

By Sarah Finnan

October 30, 2019 at 11:41am


From this week on, up to 60,000 working parents will be eligible for an extra two weeks of paid leave with their newborns.

The new law, which comes into force by Friday, will extend the amount of time off parents are entitled to in the first year after the birth or adoption of a child.

In layman’s terms – maternity leave will increase from 26 weeks to 28 weeks and paternity leave will rise from two weeks to four at the weekly social welfare rate of €245 each.

President Michael D Higgins is set to approve legislation that will grant the extra leave which parents can take at any time during the first year of their child’s life.

The provision will apply to children born or adopted from November 1st of this year and will be available to workers and the self-employed.

The new leave entitlements will be as follows:

• A total of 28 weeks maternity leave for mothers – two weeks of which must be taken prior to the birth, as well as 16 weeks unpaid maternity leave
• Four weeks paternity leave for fathers - two to be taken within six months of birth or adoption
• Parents can take 22 weeks of unpaid parental leave for children up to 12 (16 for children with a serious illness or disability)
• Parents will be entitled to 26 weeks unpaid leave from September 1 2020
• Adopting parents will get 26 weeks paid adoptive leave and are entitled to 16 weeks of unpaid leave as well


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