Thursday, 19 September 2019

Questions (237, 238)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

237. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated full combined cost of increasing maternity benefit by €20, €30, €40 and €50 per week, respectively, while extending maternity benefit by two, three, four, five and six weeks, respectively, based on most recent maternity leave uptake numbers in tabular form. [38017/19]

View answer

Pearse Doherty

Question:

238. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of introducing an additional one, two and six weeks, respectively, of maternity leave; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38110/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 237 and 238 together.

Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks at a rate of €245 per week. The 2019 Estimates for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provide for expenditure of approximately €256 million on Maternity Benefit. The estimated additional cost of extending the duration of maternity benefit is approximately €9.7 million for each extra week.

The following table estimates the full year cost of increasing the duration of maternity benefit by €20, €30, €40 and €50 per week respectively while extending maternity benefit by two, three, four, five and six weeks, respectively based on most recent maternity leave uptake numbers in tabular form.

 

Annual Cost (€m) of additional   weeks at current rate €245

Annual Cost (€m) of additional weeks at €265/week

Annual Cost (€m) of additional weeks at €275/week

Annual Cost (€m) of additional weeks at €285/week

Annual Cost (€m) of additional weeks at €295/week

Current 26 weeks Maternity Benefit

                             256

                             277

                             287

                             297

                             308

Extending benefit by 1 week

                             265

                             287

                             298

                             309

                             320

Extending benefit by 2 weeks

                             275

                             298

                             309

                             320

                             331

Extending benefit by 3 weeks

                             285

                             308

                             320

                             331

                             343

Extending benefit by 4 weeks

                             295

                             319

                             331

                             343

                             355

Extending benefit by 5 weeks

                             304

                             329

                             342

                             354

                             367

Extending benefit by 6 weeks

                             314

                             340

                             353

                             366

                             378

These estimates are based on the cost for a full year and assume that any increase in duration is implemented from the beginning of the year. This costing is subject to change over the coming months in the context of emerging trends. 

There would also be additional costs for employers including substitution and public sector pay costs which would be a matter for my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.  Decisions around the extension of this benefit would have to be considered in a budgetary context. 

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.