Budget 2016 saw the announcement of paternity benefit which will be paid to fathers at a rate of €230 per week for a two-week period. The Government announced this change with the aim of recognising "the needs of modern families and the role of fathers in the household".
This benefit is linked to the introduction of statutory paternity leave in the Family Leave Bill which is expected to be published in late 2015. It is anticipated that the changes will take effect from September 2016. Ireland will join many other European countries in introducing two weeks’ paid paternity benefit, but will still lag behind Slovenia (13 weeks) and Finland (9 weeks).
In addition, it was announced that from 1 January 2016, the rate of the statutory minimum wage will increase by 50 cent from €8.65 per hour to €9.15 per hour. All other sub-rates will also increase accordingly. For example the rate for under-18s will rise from €6.06 to €6.41.