Farmers who have a child born on or after September 1 can qualify for two weeks of Paternity Leave, and two weeks of Paternity Benefit of €230 a week.
Both self-employed farmers as well as those employed in agriculture can qualify, as long as they are paying PRSI.
This is particularly significant for self-employed farmers, as it provides a guaranteed minimum income to allow them to spend time with their newborn, said Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar.
He recently launched an awareness campaign to inform prospective parents that they require a Public Service Card in order to apply for Paternity Benefit.
And employees need to give four weeks’ notice to their employer to qualify for the accompanying Paternity Leave.
On www.welfare.ie/paternitybenefit or at #paternitybenefit on Twitter, a digital video explains the scheme and how to apply. Or you can call 1890-662244 for information.
Minister Varadkar said: “‘Farmers, like a lot of people who are self-employed, may be unaware of the benefits they are entitled to under the social insurance system.
"I want to make sure they know about this important new benefit. Obviously, taking time off won’t be easy for farmers.
“Work on the farm cannot wait, but hopefully the €230 per week will make it a little easier for farmers to take a few days to spend with their newborn if they can find someone to cover for them.
“We also want to ensure that fathers know how to apply. It’s really simple, but you need to take a few straightforward steps.
"You’re eligible for Paternity Benefit when you take your statutory two weeks of Paternity Leave and fulfil the PRSI requirements.
"You can take Paternity Leave at any time within the first 26 weeks of the child’s life, or following adoption.
“You need to give your employer four weeks’ notice that you’re planning to take Paternity Leave,” said Minister Varadkar.
You can then apply for Paternity Benefit online. You will also need to register for a Public Services Card — more than two million cards have been issued to date.
“You’ll find all the information on how to apply for Paternity Leave, and how to get your Public Service Card, at www.welfare.ie/paternitybenefit,” he said.
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