Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1399)

Catherine Martin


1399. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the date from which the two extra weeks paid leave for parents of a child in their first year announced in Budget 2019 will be implemented; her views on whether the manner in which the scheme was announced at Budget 2019 suggested that it would be backdated; if the payment will be backdated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18545/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

In Budget 2019, I announced the introduction of a new social insurance based parental benefit scheme to take effect in November 2019.

The new scheme will provide two weeks paid leave to both parents, including those who adopt a child, who are employees or self-employed and who take parental leave from their employment to care for their child. The scheme will support parents during the first year of the child's life, in line with the Programme for Government commitment and allows parents more flexibility in achieving and managing a work life balance.

This new parental leave and benefit will be available to parents in respect of children born on or after the date of its implementation this November. To provide for an entitlement to this scheme prior to its date of implementation would have significant budgetary implications.

There is a lead-in time required following the announcement of any new scheme to facilitate its implementation. Officials are currently working through the legislative process currently being undertaken by my Department and the Department of Justice and Equality, which has the overall responsibility for parental leave policy. Work is also underway in my Department to advance the necessary administrative and technical requirements to be in a position to accept applications from November.

I trust this clarifies the matter.