Irish parents will be able to take an entire year off to look after their newborn in light of plans to extend parental benefit, it has been reported.
Both parents will receive seven weeks of paid leave each by 2021.
This combined with existing maternity and paternity entitlements and normal annual leave will give couples enough time for one of them to be at home at all times for an entire year, the Irish Independent reports.
Parents will be able to avail of paid parental leave which will be tolled out in 2019 where both parents will be entitled to two weeks off.
This will be extended to seven weeks each by 2021 with an allowance of €245 per week paid by the State.
Around 65,000 patients are expected to benefit from the scheme in a year.
Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said the move was one step in the “First 5” strategy which will give parents a wider range of care options for their children up to the age of five.
A dedicated child health workforce will also be hired and new parents in hospitals will be supplied with a “baby box” with clothes and books.
Mothers are able to take 26 weeks of paid maternity leave and up to 16 weeks unpaid currently.
Fathers get just two weeks of paid leave.
Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said the government recognised that fathers needed more time with their children.
She added: “The evidence shows that when fathers take a more significant and meaningful share in the parenting of their children, the individual family benefits, and so does wider society.”
Tags: родители, семейное законодательство, социальная помощь