Improvements to Parents’ Leave and Benefits in Ireland

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Parenthood is a transformative journey, and Ireland recognises the significance of supporting parents during the crucial first two years of their child’s life. Parent’s Benefit and Parent’s Leave are pivotal elements providing financial assistance and flexibility for parents. As a trusted advisor in HR and employment law, HR Team is dedicated to keeping employers informed of the latest developments in parental benefits. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Parent’s Benefit, focusing on the recent enhancements and upcoming changes set to take effect in Ireland in 2024.


Parent’s Benefit and Parent’s Leave Overview

Parent’s leave entitles each parent to 7 weeks’ leave during the first 2 years of a child’s life, or in the case of adoption, within 2 years of the placement of the child with the family. Notably, it was announced in the Budget 2024 that Parent’s Leave will be extended by 2 weeks to 9 weeks from August 2024. 


Eligibility Criteria and Duration

To qualify for Parent’s Benefit, specific conditions must be met, including the necessary number of PRSI contributions. The recent extension allows parents of children born or adopted after July 2022 to enjoy an enhanced benefit period of 7 consecutive or separate weeks. Anticipated changes in 2024 will further extend Parent’s Benefit, providing a more robust support system for new parents.


Rules and Application Process

The application process involves your employee notifying you about their intention to take parent’s leave at least 6 weeks before commencement. Subsequently, the application for Parent’s Benefit should be submitted at least 4 weeks before the planned leave starts. 


Rate of Parent’s Benefit

The current rate of Parent’s Benefit  €274 per week. Employers do not have to pay Parent’s benefit and employees should apply directly to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) for this benefit.


Leave Certification and Payment Process

Certification of approved parent’s leave dates is crucial during the application process. The Department of Social Protection may contact employers for confirmation. Parent’s Benefit is paid directly into the employee’s bank account or the employer’s account if payments are made during the leave.


What is the difference between Parent’s Leave and Parental Leave

Parental leave entitles employees to take unpaid leave from work to look after their children. Both parents can take up to 26 weeks parental leave. 

Parent’s leave is specifically for parents during the child’s first 2 years.



HR Team recognises the importance of staying informed about improvements in Parent’s leave and other family leave types. As Ireland’s trusted provider of HR and employment law services, we are here to assist you in navigating the complexities of Parent’s Leave.  Stay informed about these changes and ensure a seamless transition into parenthood for your employees.

For personalised guidance and assistance on Parent’s leave, reach out to HR Team today. Contact us for expert advice and let us help you navigate the complexities of dealing with family leave in the workplace.

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