Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (403)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

403. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person in receipt of carer's benefit can qualify for parental leave; if he or she can maintain his or her carer's benefit while on parental leave; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22554/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Entitlement to Parental Leave is governed by the Parental Leave Act 1998 and the Department with responsibility for the governing legislation is the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform.

In relation to a person in receipt of carer’s benefit, a person retains entitlement while on parental leave provided they are continuing to provide full–time care and attention to a person who needs it. Carers’ benefit is paid for a period of up to 104 weeks.

The carer must have been employed in full-time employment for at least eight weeks, either consecutive or not, in the 26 week period immediately prior to the commencement of the carer's benefit claim.

Full-time employment in this context is defined as insurable employment for at least 16 hours per week or 32 hours per fortnight.

This condition does not need to be satisfied on a second or subsequent claim where a person was in receipt of carer's benefit within the previous 26 weeks.

Persons who have been on Annual/Maternity/Adoptive/Parental or Term-time leave immediately prior to becoming a carer will be eligible for Carer's Benefit. The leave period will be disregarded so that the 26 week period to be assessed (to find 8 weeks of remunerative full-time insurable employment, whether consecutive or not) will be the period prior to that leave.

Question No. 404 withdrawn.