Tuesday 11 May 2021

Parents to get nine weeks of partly paid leave in baby’s first year

Photo: Depositphotos.com

New parents will get nine weeks of partly paid leave from August 2, 2022 to give  more of them time to make decisions about how to balance their lives with children, the social affairs ministry has confirmed.

The measure had already been decided on by the cabinet last year and now MPs have given it the green light as well.

New parents are entitled to 26 weeks of paternity leave in the first eight years of their child’s life but it is unpaid unless provisions have been made in their collective labour agreement (CAO).

‘No everyone can afford to take parental leave and currently only a third of parents do,’ the ministry said.

The government will now foot the bill for part of the costs for nine weeks out of the 26. Compensation has been set at 50% of their salary up to a maximum of €111,70.

An important condition of the new measure is that the nine weeks will have to be taken up in the first year of the baby’s life. ‘This will give families more time to get used to the new situation and take decisions about the division of child care and work duties,’ the ministry said.

The new measure comes on top of two other changes which affect fathers in particular. Since January 2019, the partners of new mothers have been entitled to five days paid leave and from July 2020 they have been be able to take a further five weeks of leave in the first six months since the birth, paid at 70% of their salary.

Mothers have the right to 16 to 20 weeks paid leave and will now get the right to a further nine weeks, paid at 50%, plus 17 weeks unpaid.

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