In Budget 2019, I announced the introduction of a new social insurance based paid parental benefit scheme which will provide two weeks paid leave to both parents.
The new scheme will be available to parents including those who adopt a child, who are employees or self-employed and who have the required number of PRSI contributions. This new scheme of parental benefit will support parents during the first year of the child's life and allows parents more flexibility in achieving and managing a work life balance.
The two weeks parental benefit available to both parents will not be shared and cannot be transferred between parents. This recognises that the provision of paid parental leave will be more effective and appropriate in terms of encouraging both fathers and mothers to take time off work to take care of their children.
The scheme will commence in late 2019 and will be available to parents in respect of children born on or after the date of its implementation. The specific details of the scheme are being examined as part of the legislative drafting process undertaken by my Department and the Department of Justice and Equality, which has overall responsibility for parental leave policy.
I trust this clarifies the matter at this time.