Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (723)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

723. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice her plans to extend parental leave benefit in the upcoming budget; the details of the length of a planned extension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26678/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 provides for two weeks of parent’s leave and benefit for all new parents in employment or self-employment in respect of children born or placed for adoption on or after 1 November 2019. This is to facilitate parents in spending more time with their children in their critical first year of life.

The Government is currently considering a proposal to advance the extension of Parent’s Leave and Benefit to five weeks for all parents of children born after 1 November 2019, to enable every eligible parent of young children to spend additional time with their child.

The Government proposal would mean that eligible parents of children born during the pandemic crisis would get an extra three weeks of Parent’s Leave to offset the impact for parents and young children of the strict lockdown measures. The period in which Parent’s Leave can be taken would also be extended from one year to two years.  This, and related costs, are being considered as part of the Budget 2021 process. Parent's Benefit is paid at a rate of €245 per week by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

This will be a matter for Minister O'Gorman following the transfer of this function to his Department.