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20th Nov 2018

Parents in Ireland Will Be Able To Stay At Home For a Full Year After Having A Baby


Under new plans to extend parental leave, mums and dads will be able to look after their baby for a full year by 2021.

According to the Irish Independent, the government plans to give parents seven weeks of annual leave each.

Added to existing parental leave and annual leave, it means that one parent can be at home at all times for a full year to care for their baby.

The State will pay an allowance of €245 a week to parents availing of this parental leave.

The extended parental leave is part of a new initiative called ‘First 5′ which started in this year’s budget when two weeks of added parental leave was announced.

Other initiatives planned for the scheme include hiring a dedicated child health workforce. A ‘baby box’ with clothes and books will also be given to new parents in hospital.

Current legislation allows mothers to have 26 weeks of paid maternity leave and 16 weeks of unpaid leave. Fathers currently get two weeks.

Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty said the Government is particularly conscious that fathers need more time with their children.

“The evidence shows that when fathers take a more significant and meaningful share in the parenting of their children, the individual family benefits, and so does wider society,” she said.

A public funding model for childcare and early years learning will also be looked at in the new ‘First 5’ programme.

Zappone said that when the State increase subsidies for families, childcare operators will only be able to exact modest price increases.

However, she also said childcare workers will be “paid according to their qualifications”.

Sounds like a step in the right direction anyway!

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