I was thrilled to see the introduction of paternity leave in Ireland back in September 2016. With effect from 1 September 2016, new parents (other than the mother of the child) are entitled to paternity leave from employment or self-employment following birth or adoption of a child.
The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides for statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks and applies to births and adoptions on or after 1 September 2016. The Department of Social Protection pays €235 per week to employed and self-employed fathers who satisfy certain PRSI conditions.
Up to November 2017, according to the Journal.ie, over 27,000 dads had taken paternity leave since the scheme was introduced. According to the Department of Social Protection, the take-up rate for paternity benefit was always expected to be lower than maternity benefit and so far it is.
I am interested in the reasons why this take up is lower and what we can do to ensure that Irish people and companies become more comfortable with the whole concept of taking paternity leave. Yes, in Ireland, this will take time but it needs to be encouraged from the top-down. Directors and Senior Managers across all industries and functions need to lead from the front!
If men are expecting a new baby, then I fully recommend that they take their time off and this will really help to send out the correct message across the whole business.
If there are any Dads out there willing to share their stories I would be delighted to hear how it is working out in reality!
Get in touch to let me know your thoughts