Fine Gael Councillor for North Cork, John Paul O’Shea, has said that Cork Dads are continuing to benefit from the Government’s paid paternity benefit scheme with 6,584 availing of the scheme in Cork so far.
Councillor O’Shea said: “The current rate of Paternity Benefit is €240 per week. Following Budget 2019, this will increase to €245 per week from the week beginning 25 March 2019.
“This will afford new Dads the opportunity to be more involved at the earliest stages of a child’s development, which is important for the whole family.
“It is great to hear that there has been good take up of the scheme so far, with over 51,000 paternity benefits being awarded since the scheme came in on the 1st September 2016. This includes some 4,100 self-employed people. My colleague the Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has informed me that here in Cork, 6,584 dads have availed of the benefit in that time.
“I am encouraging prospective fathers to sign up for Paternity Benefit and I think they will find the application process to be clear and simple. They will require a Public Service Card in order to apply, and if they are an employee, they need to give four weeks’ notice to their employer to qualify for the accompanying Paternity Leave.
“Fathers who fulfil the PRSI requirements are eligible for Paternity Benefit when they take two weeks of Paternity Leave at any time within the first 26 weeks of their child’s life, or following adoption.
“All the information on how to apply for Paternity Leave, and how to get your Public Service Card, is available at www.welfare.ie/paternitybenefit.
“Paid paternity leave was a key commitment in Fine Gael’s manifesto in advance of the last election as part of our overall efforts to support parents at work and make childcare more affordable. Fine Gael in Government is now using the resources from our strong economy to deliver on that commitment,” Cllr O’Shea said.
Minister Doherty said: “The Government recognises the importance of providing support for parents of young children and is very much aware that the first year in a child’s life is of particular importance. This is very much emphasised in the programme for Government.
“I was particularly pleased to secure a new Parental Benefit scheme which will allow both parents to access additional paid Parental Leave in the first year of their child’s life. This means that both parents will have access to an additional two weeks each of Parental Benefit, which will also be paid at the rate of €245 per week.”
It is expected that this scheme will be introduced in late 2019 after the necessary legislation is in place.