Information Circular No 05/2020: Paternity Leave and Benefits Act 2016

By Industrial Relations Officer

Following the submission of representations by PDFORRA, the Department of Defence have confirmed that entitlements under the Paternity Leave and Benefits Act must be taken within 6 months of the birth/adoption placement of the child

Further, the Department have advised that it is not open to the Minister to either introduce a regulation (by way of an amendment to DFR Al1) or enter into an agreement with our Association, which would seek to alter the statutory provisions of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act. Any such course of action would be void.

The Minister is bound by the terms of the Act, which stipulate that paternity leave must be availed of within six months of the birth or adoption placement of the child.

The table below illustrates the various types of leave available to parents.

Leave Who gets it? How long? Is it paid?
Maternity leave Female
26 weeks and
up to 16 unpaid weeks
Yes, Maternity Benefit is paid
for 26 weeks
Adoptive leave Adoptive
mothers, Men
adopting alone
24 weeks and up to 16 unpaid weeks Yes, Adoptive Benefit is paid
for 24 weeks
Paternity leave New parents of children under 6 months of age (but not the
mother of the
2 weeks Yes, Paternity Benefit is paid
for 2 weeks
Parental leave Parents and
guardians of
children under 12
22 weeks No, it’s unpaid
Parent’s leave Parents of
children under 1 year of age (or in first year of
2 weeks Yes, Parent’s
Benefit is paid
for 2 weeks

Issued on: 26/02/2020

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