Following commitments made in Budget 2016, the Government has now approved the proposals for necessary legislative amendments to introduce paternity leave in Ireland. 

Until now, Ireland had remained one of the few European countries where employers were not required to provide paternity leave.

Two weeks of paternity leave for fathers will be introduced from September 2016 and will be accompanied by a social welfare benefit of €230 per week (subject to PRSI contribution requirements) on the same lines as maternity leave.

It is intended that the paternity benefit will be paid to both employed and self-employed fathers provided they satisfy the necessary PRSI requirements. As with maternity leave, employers may decide to pay employees in full during the two week period, but will not be obliged to do so.