Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (351)

Martin Heydon

Question:

351. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of increasing parent’s benefit by one week in each of the years 2021 to 2025; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52500/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

In Budget 2019 I announced the introduction of a new social insurance based parent’s benefit scheme, which took effect in November 2019. The new scheme provides two weeks leave to both parents, including those who adopt a child, who are employees or self-employed and who take parent’s leave from their employment to care for their child. This is in addition to existing maternity, paternity and adoptive leave entitlements. The scheme supports parents during the first year of the child's life, in line with the Programme for Government commitment.

Based on existing take up of maternity and paternity benefit, two weeks parent’s benefit is estimated to cost approximately €32m in a full year. It estimated that each additional week of parent’s benefit will cost €15.8m in a full year. The estimated full year cost of increasing parent’s benefit by one week in each of the years 2021 to 2025 is provided in the following table. The Deputy is advised that there would also be additional costs for employers covering substitution pay costs.

Year

Weeks

2020

2 Weeks

€31.6m

2021

3 Weeks

€47.4m

2022

4 Weeks

€63.2m

2023

5 Weeks

€79m

2024

6 Weeks

€94.8m

2025

7 Weeks

€110.6m

This Government values families and I intend to build on this new parent’s benefit and gradually extend the amount of benefit available up to nine weeks for each parent.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.