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Paternity Leave in Ireland

What is paternity leave and how will it be treated in Ireland payroll?

Before this year, employers has no obligation to provide male employees with paid or unpaid paternity leave in Ireland.  From 1st September 2016, new legislation introduces the ability for fathers to avail of both statutory leave and payment (benefit) any time within the first six months of the birth (or adoption) of their child.

This will be the first time fathers can avail of this in Ireland (particularly in the private sector) as some employers, (in the public sector) already provide paid leave from work for male employees.

For example, since 1st January 2000 fathers employed in the civil service have been entitled to a period of special (or paternal) leave of 3 days with pay.

Similar to maternity benefit, the new legislation will entitle paid paternity leave in Ireland at a rate of €230 a week, it will be based on the same PRSI contribution requirements, and fathers are entitled to take the leave at any stage within 26 weeks of the birth.

However fathers must notify their employers of their intention to take paternity leave (and of the intended dates) no later than 4 weeks before their leave.  Proof of the expected DOB of their child must also be provided. e.g., a certificate from their doctor confirming when the baby is due.  Or If applying for leave after the birth of the child, confirmation of the actual DOB is needed, e.g., birth certificate.

How will paternity leave be treated in payroll?

Paternity leave will essentially be treated like maternity leave except for 2 weeks instead of 26 weeks.  As policies vary on maternity leave across companies and sectors, similarly for paternity leave, it is at the discretion of the company whether it reduces the employee’s pay by the amount of the paternity benefit or not.

The tax due any paternity benefit is collected automatically by Revenue by adjusting your tax credits & cut-off on the P2C file import to payroll.

Companies may apply the same rules to paternity policy as they do for maternity policy (as this makes most sense) and ensure treatment is consistent. for example, paid V unpaid leave.

If you have a question about maternity or paternity pay treatment in payroll, your Jefferson payroll administrator will be happy to help.

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All the best,
The Team at Jefferson

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