Parent’s Leave & Parent’s Benefit Explained

Last Updated on June 13, 2023

To support parents in the first few months of a child’s life parent’s leave was introduced for all working parents in Ireland. This leave allows both parents to take time off to be there for some of baby’s firsts. First words, first solids, first smiles, parents can be there for these important early milestones by taking a state-supported parent’s leave.

Parent’s Leave in Ireland

What is parent’s leave?

Parent’s leave is a paid leave from work for all parents in Ireland to take within the first year of their child’s life. In the case of adoption, parent’s leave can be taken within the first year of placement. Parent’s leave can be taken additionally to maternity leave and paternity leave.

How long is parent’s leave in Ireland?

Parent’s leave can be taken for 2 weeks in which you can receive Parent’s Benefit if you qualify. You can take parent’s leave either all at once or in 2 blocks of one week each.
Parent’s leave will be extended in 2021 to 5 weeks of paid leave. 

Who can take parent’s leave?

Each parent in Ireland is entitled to take parent’s leave from work. Parent’s leave is not shared between parents. Each parent is entitled to the full amount. 
The leave has to be taken within the first year of your child’s life or the first year of placement if you adopted. Your child has to be born after November 2019 to qualify.

How do I apply for parent’s leave?

To apply for parent’s leave you need to inform your employer in writing at least 6 weeks before your leave is due to start. In your notice, you should include the start date, the duration of your leave and the manner in which you propose to take the leave. 

Can parent’s leave be refused?

No, your employer cannot refuse your request for parent’s leave. 
However, your employer has the right to postpone the leave for up to 12 weeks. 

How much is Parent’s Benefit?

Parent’s Benefit is €245 per week paid for 2 weeks directly into your bank account. 
To qualify for Parent’s Benefit you need to have enough PRSI contributions. The requirements are the same as for Maternity Benefit or Paternity Benefit which means if you qualified for either of these, you will qualify for Parent’s Benefit. 
If you are in employment you need to have paid 39 weeks of PRSI in the relevant tax year or in case of self-employment you need to have 52 weeks of contributions in the relevant tax year. 

How do I apply for Parent’s Benefit?

Submit your application for Parent’s Benefit at least 6 weeks before your leave is due to start. 
To complete the Parent’s Benefit form you need:
– Your child’s PPS
– The start date of your leave
– Agreement from your employer

How does parent’s leave affect my taxes?

Your PRSI contributions continue to get credit during parent’s leave.

What changes are coming for parent’s leave in the 2021 Budget?

The 2021 Budget is going to increase parent’s leaves to 5 weeks. This legislation will come in place in April 2021. Parent’s Benefit will stay at €245 per week, paid each week for the 5 weeks of your leave. You will be able to take parent’s leave before your child’s 2nd birthday or up to 2 years after adoption.

For more information visit citizens information.