Paternity Leave is the unpaid leave granted to the male employee on the birth of his child in Ireland. The Paternity Leave is for a maximum of ten (10) days off linked to the birth of the father’s child. The leave should be taken within 26 weeks of the birth of the child.
Please note that if the company contributes towards a Maternity Leave payments than on the grounds of gender equality they should also contribute towards Paternity Leave.
The father can claim a Paternity Benefit from the Department of Social Protection at a rate of €230 per week. This benefit is similar to the Maternity Benefits and the employee needs to have built up 39 weeks of PRSI contributions. The father should give the company four (4) weeks notice in writing before taking the leave. However if there are premature births the notice period can be shortened.
The father needs to fill out the Paternity Leave form four weeks before the requested Paternity Leave and the form needs to be handed in to the company. The Paternity Leave benefit is also available for a father adopting a child and same sex couples adopting a child. During the Paternity Leave the employee will continue to build up his normal entitlements and his build up for holiday entitlements will also continue. Part-time employees are entitled to Paternity Leave on a pro-rata basis. Please note that the employee can be asked to provide the childbirth certificate.