The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 commenced on 1 August 2016. The Act enables a “relevant parent” to take two weeks paternity leave which must commence within the first 26 weeks of the birth/adoption of a child. Subject to eligibility and notification criteria being met, paternity leave will apply to births/placements that take place on or after the 1 September 2016. During paternity leave, employees who have the necessary PRSI contributions and hold a Public Services Card are entitled to paternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection.
An employee’s statutory and contractual rights are protected during any period of paternity leave under the Act, subject to observation of statutory notification procedures.
This section examines the statutory rights and duties placed on both the employer and the employee, as well as providing practical guidance to employers in facilitating paternity leave entitlements.