Government approves legislative amendments required to introduce paternity leave

26 January 2016

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, New Communities, Culture and Drugs Strategy, today announced that the Government has approved proposals for the necessary legislative amendments to family leave legislation to allow for the introduction of 2 weeks paternity leave, as from September 2016.

The 2 weeks’ leave will be accompanied by a social welfare benefit on the same lines as maternity leave and the Department of Justice and Equality will also progress the necessary amendments to Social Welfare legislation in cooperation with the Department of Social Protection.

Minister Ó Ríordáin commented: “The fact that this proposed paternity leave can be taken any time within a 26 week period of the birth of a child allow fathers to spend increased time with their children and families around the child’s birth. Evidence from countries such as Norway shows that paternity leave – aside from its social benefits and positive impact on fatherhood – promotes equality for women and supports higher levels of female participation in the labour force.”

Today’s decision reflects the decision by the Government in Budget 2016 on the introduction of 2 weeks paternity leave.

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