The Deputy will be aware that as part of Budget 2019, the Government announced the introduction of a new social insurance based paid parental benefit scheme. This new scheme will support parents during the first year of the child's life by providing two weeks of paid leave to both parents, and will allow parents more flexibility in achieving and managing a work life balance.
It is envisaged that the scheme will commence in late 2019 and will be available to parents in respect all children born on or after the date of its implementation.
The conditions of eligibility for the scheme will be provided for in legislation which is currently being developed by my Department, in cooperation with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
I can advise the Deputy that work is well advanced on the General Scheme of legislative proposals to implement the new scheme, and these proposals will be brought to Government for approval shortly.