Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Questions (395, 396, 397)

Brendan Howlin

Question:

395. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when the new paid parental leave benefit as announced at budget 2019 for parents will be available; when the application process will open; the number of parents she expects to avail of the new benefit in the remainder of 2019; the estimated number of applicants in 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30322/19]

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Brendan Howlin

Question:

396. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the eligibility criteria for the new paid parental leave benefit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30323/19]

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Brendan Howlin

Question:

397. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the new paid parental leave benefit will be available to all new parents of children born since the budget 2019 announcement in October 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30324/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 395 to 397, inclusive, together.

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 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 leave and benefit will be available to parents in respect of children born on or after the date of its implementation in November 2019.

The benefit will be available to employed and self-employed parents who satisfy certain pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions similar to that required for Maternity and Paternity Benefits. The qualifying conditions for the new benefit include that a claimant must:

- Be in employment or self-employment and

- Be certified by their employer as entitled to leave and

- Have sufficient PRSI paid before the first day of their leave

The following is the estimate of the volume of recipients for 2019 and 2020.

-

2019

2020

Parental Benefit scheme recipients

3,000

41,000

There is a lead-in time required following the announcement of any new scheme to facilitate its implementation. My officials are currently working alongside officials from the Department of Justice and Equality, which has overall policy responsibility for parental leave.

I trust this clarifies the matter.