Clare fathers are continuing to benefit from the Government’s paid paternity benefit scheme with more than a thousand of them availing of the scheme since its introduction in September 2016.
That’s according to Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey who said that the current rate is €240 per week will increase to €245 per week from next March as a result of the recent budget.
“This will gihve new fathers the opportunity to be more involved at the earliest stages of a child’s development, which is important for the whole family.
“There has been good take up of the scheme so far, with 1,151 Clare fathers availing of the payment since its introduction. 607 availed of the scheme last year and so far this year, there have been 437 approvals granted.
On a national level, more than 51,000 paternity benefits have been awarded since September 2016, including some 4,100 self-employed people.
“I am encouraging prospective fathers to sign up for paternity benefit and I think they will find the application process to be clear and simple. They will require a Public Service Card in order to apply, and if they are an employee, they need to give four weeks’ notice to their employer to qualify for the accompanying paternity leave,” he explained.
“Fathers who fulfil the PRSI requirements are eligible for paternity benefit when they take two weeks of paternity leave at any time within the first 26 weeks of their child’s life, or following adoption.
“All the information on how to apply for paternity leave, and how to get your Public Service Card, is available at www.welfare.ie/paternitybenefit.
“Paid paternity leave was a key commitment in Fine Gael’s manifesto in advance of the last election as part of our overall efforts to support parents at work and make childcare more affordable,” Deputy Carey added.
“The new Parental Benefit scheme allows both parents to access additional paid Parental Leave in the first year of their child’s life. This means that both parents will have access to an additional two weeks each of Parental Benefit, which will also be paid at the rate of €245 a week.”
It is expected that this scheme will be introduced in late 2019 after the necessary legislation is in place.