Paid Paternity Promise Fulfilled
For the first time in Irish history fathers will be entitled to two weeks paid paternity leave which will commence in September 2016. This historic announcement comes 40 years after the introduction of maternity leave in Ireland for the first time.
Paid leave for fathers of new-born children has long been in situ in many European countries. Our nearest neighbours in the UK have a paternity leave option of two weeks which was introduced back in 2003, with payments which amount to 90% of salary. Finland boasts an amazing 9 weeks’ paternity leave with variable rates of pay whereas Slovenia’s is the most generous at 13 weeks. However, in Slovenia, the first 15 days are paid and the 75 remaining days are paid at a rate of €174 per month.
Belgium has a 2 week paternity leave option with interesting payment terms. For the first three days the employer pays 100% of salary and then the state pays 82% of salary for the remaining days.
In a recent study of paternity leave in America, Australia, Britain and Denmark found that fathers who take paternity leave are more likely to take an active role in child care tasks and share the workload of raising a child. From a fathers perspective it gives them a break from work and an opportunity to bond with their new-born. The interesting detail will be in regards who funds this exciting initiative. Will we be following the Belgian model?
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