Paternity Benefit
 
The structure of the Paternity Benefit scheme will follow as much as possible the structure
of the existing Maternity Benefit scheme. The following are the main features of the
Paternity Benefit scheme;
 
? Paternity Benefit will be paid for two weeks at a rate of €230 per week and it will
be taxable;
 
? To qualify for Paternity Benefit all individuals must be in employment and have
their leave certified by their employer;
 
? In order to qualify an individual must in their own right have sufficient PRSI
contributions (these will be identical to the Maternity Benefit qualifying
conditions);
 
? One Paternity Benefit claim will be paid in respect of each birth (however, in the
case of multiple births only 2 weeks Paternity Benefit will be paid) and this can
be paid to a man or woman. In this way Paternity Benefit could be paid to a
woman (provided she qualifies in her own right) if her wife/partner is the
mother; and
 
? Paternity Benefit will be paid from the date of the birth of the child for two
weeks which must run consecutively. The two weeks Paternity Benefit must be
taken within a period of 28 weeks from the birth.
 
The introduction of a Paternity Benefit scheme will require legislation to be enacted by DSP
and significant IT and operational changes to be introduced by DSP. It is estimated that the
earliest possible commencement date, subject to the Paternity Leave legislation being
enacted in a timely manner, for the Paternity Benefit scheme is September 2016.
 
PRSI Qualifying Conditions:
The PRSI contributions can be from both employment or self-employment – the PRSI classes that count for Paternity Benefit are A, E, H and S (self-employed).
An applicant for Paternity Benefit must have in the case of an employee:
  • At least 39 weeks PRSI paid in the previous 12-month period
OR
  •  At least 39 weeks PRSI paid since first starting work and at least 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year or in the tax year immediately following the
  relevant tax year.
OR
  • At least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the relevant tax year and at least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.
 
If the applicant is self-employed they must be in insurable employment and have one of the following:
  • 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the relevant tax year.
  • 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.
  • 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year.
 
Leave certification:
All employees must have their leave certified by their employer.