In Budget 2019, I announced the introduction of a new social insurance based parental benefit scheme to take effect this November.
The new scheme will provide two weeks paid leave to both parents, including those who adopt a child, who are employees or self-employed and 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 support will be available to parents in respect of children born on or after the date of its implementation in November.
The legislation for paid parental leave and benefit will be provided for in a Parental Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 sponsored by the Department of Justice and Equality, which has overall responsibility for parental leave policy. On 16 April, Government approved the priority drafting of this legislation. Officials in my Department are working with the Department of Justice and Equality to progress this work. Arrangements are also underway in my Department to advance the necessary administrative and technical requirements to be in a position to accept applications from November.
I trust this clarifies the matter.