Paternity Leave & Paternity Benefit in Ireland Explained

Last Updated on June 13, 2023

Paternity Leave 2023

When you prepare for a new life to join your family, it is an exciting and transformative time. As a father and partner, being there for the big moments in the first few weeks of your baby’s life is an unforgettable experience. Taking time off work requires some planning ahead but with this easy guide, all your questions regarding paternity leave and paternity benefit will be answered.

How long is paternity leave in Ireland? 

Paternity leave is for the duration of 2 weeks. This leave is paid and every relevant parent in employment has the right to take this leave independent on how long you have been employed for. During paternity leave, your employer does not have to pay you but you might be entitled to Paternity Benefit. 
Paternity leave has to be taken within the first 6 months of a newborns life or within the first 6 months of placement in case of adoption. The leave has to be taken for two consecutive weeks. 

Who is entitled to paternity leave? 

Paternity leave is a leave from work for new parents who are not the mother. To be entitled to paternity leave you have to be either the father of the child, the partner of the mother of the child, the parent of a donor-conceived child or the nominated parent in case of adoption. 

How do I apply for paternity leave?

To apply for paternity leave you have to inform your employer in writing at least 4 weeks before you intend to take your leave. 
To apply you will need to provide your employer with a doctor’s certificate stating when the baby is due or a confirmation of the date of birth if you are applying after the baby has been born. In the case of adoption, you need to provide a letter confirming the date of placement. 

How much is Paternity Benefit in Ireland?

Paternity Benefit is €245 per week, paid for 2 weeks. 
To qualify for Paternity Benefit you must have enough PRSI contributions. You need to have either 39 weeks of PRSI paid in the 12 months prior to your paternity leave or 39 weeks of PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year. You can check your eligibility at citizens information or request a contribution statement. The Paternity Benefit payment is made by the Department of Social Protection directly into your bank account. 

How do I apply for Paternity Benefit?

The process of application for Paternity Benefit is a few steps process:
1. Inform your employer of your intention to take paternity leave 4 weeks prior to your leave. In the case of self-employment, apply for Paternity Benefit at least 12 weeks in advance. 
2. Your employer has to fill in a PB2 form. If you are self-employed, your doctor has to fill in a PB3 form.
3. Fill in the Paternity Benefit form at 

Can I extend paternity leave to 4 weeks in Ireland?

There is no state paternity leave extension available in Ireland.
However, there are multiple other options on how you can extend your leave from work after your child has been born.
1. Take parents leave: 2 weeks paid leave
2. Take parental leave: up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave

To protect your place of work, your employer has the right to postpone your requested parents leave/parental leave which means your request to take it consecutively to your paternity leave can be refused.

For more information visit citizens information.

Also, while you’re preparing for a baby arrival you might want to check our maternity leave guide for future mums!