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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
baby on board

State parental leave expanded to seven weeks

New parents can now take up to seven weeks leave as part of measures introduced by the Departments of Children and Social Protection.

NEW PARENTS CAN now take up to seven weeks of supported parental leave as part of measures introduced by the Departments of Children and Social Protection.

Parents could previously take up to five weeks off work, with financial support from the State.

Both parents are eligible for the payment of €250 per week.

Parents with a child under two years of age or who have adopted a child within the last two years can apply via

It can be taken for seven consecutive weeks or in separate weekly blocks over a longer period.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said: “This is a support that we have increased over several Budgets and the significant raise in take-up demonstrates just how popular it is with parents.

“I believe strongly that the first few weeks and months spent with a new-born son or daughter is so important.

“We will ensure that mothers and fathers who experience that special occasion of welcoming their child into the world, will know that their State supports them.”

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman commented: “Welcoming a child into the world is one of the most important moments in a parent’s life. We want to ensure that new parents are supported to spend quality time with their babies in those first weeks and months, and be there to share special bonding moments.

“Since the formation of this Government, we have increased Parent’s Leave and Benefit from two weeks to seven weeks, enabling tens of thousands of new parents to take time away from work knowing that they are financially supported.

“I am delighted that we have been able to support these parents to spend more time with their families, and I hope the increase we have announced today encourages even more parents to take up the offer of paid parent’s leave.”

The take-up of the supports has tripled since 2020.

Humphreys and O’Gorman have committed to further expansion of the scheme to nine weeks.

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