Cabinet to give parents extra four weeks of paternity leave

New parents can expect an extra four weeks extra leave over the next half year, with the Cabinet set to shortly agree the terms for paternity leave which would be introduced in September.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also confirmed that the budget, to be agreed later this year, will include an extra two weeks shared parental leave which would be introduced in 2017.

This could mean there is an extra four weeks leave for parents over the next half year.

Parents would be entitled to an extra four weeks leave by the beginning of next year. All four weeks will be covered by minimum statutory welfare payments.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin, Mr Kenny confirmed that the package on two weeks paid paternity leave will go before Cabinet next week, with the intention of introducing it in September.

The second matter of extra shared parental leave, also covered by welfare payments, will allow employers voluntarily opt in to pay for cover, he said.

“We plan to fund in the budget an extra two weeks shared parental leave so as a result in 2017, new parents will be entitled to an extra four weeks leave funded through the social insurance scheme,” he said.

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Elsewhere, Mr Kenny said the June 23 vote on Britain remaining in the EU would be “close”. He will next week visit Liverpool and Manchester and Belfast among places where he will campaign for a no vote.

The event in Manchester will also be attended by British prime minister David Cameron. The result of the referendum could depend on the level of turnout, said Mr Kenny.

He pointed to where employers and workers in Ireland had encouraged people to support the Fiscal Treaty referendum vote in 2012.

As is known, there is a two-year buffer or period where Britain would leave the EU if there is a yes vote. However, it is unclear how this would work and what would happen to Ireland’s trade and border rules with its neighbour.

Mr Kenny said it was his belief that some sort of passport and customs check in the North would be necessary if there was a yes vote and Britain was to leave the European Union.


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