Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (502)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

502. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection when paid parental leave will be extended by three weeks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6813/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Parent’s Leave and Benefit will be extended from 2 weeks for each parent to 5 weeks as announced in Budget 2021. This extension will be made available retrospectively to parents in respect of children born or adopted on or after 1st November 2019. The period during which this leave can be taken will be extended from 12 to 24 months so it can be taken up to a child's second birthday or within two years following adoption.

In December 2020, Government approved the drafting of a Parent’s Leave and Benefit (Amendment) Bill, to provide for these statutory amendments. The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has responsibility for parents leave policy and is leading on this legislation.

Changes are also required to my Department's systems to administer this extension, including the provision of retrospective entitlement, which are well advanced. My Department will be in a position to process and issue benefit payments, to include backdated payment of benefit if appropriate, in respect of Parents Leave taken from the date of enactment of the necessary legislation.

I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

Question No. 503 answered with Question No. 491.