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Ministers Simon Coveney, Michael McGrath and Roderic O’Gorman.
Paid leave

Parents of children born during pandemic to get additional three weeks leave

There have been calls for maternity leave to be extended for those who recently had children.

PARENTS OF CHILDREN born during the pandemic will be able to take an additional three weeks of parent’s leave.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing, Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman said the government has proposed to examine the measure in the context of Budget 2021.

An extension of parent’s leave will see each parent receiving an additional three weeks.

The minister said the leave would be paid at a rate of €245 a week for the additional three weeks.

O’Gorman said the move is a response to the Sinn Féin Private Members Motion on Maternity Leave.

The extension of parent’s leave will move from two weeks to five weeks for each parent.

The additional three weeks can be taken by that cohort of parents who had children during the Covid crisis, said the minister. 

“It will apply to any child born after the 1 November 2019. This is a measure to recognise to some extent the particular challenges that mothers and parents have faced during the Covid-19 crisis,” said O’Gorman. 

The leave under the current rules is meant to be taken within the first year of the child’s life, however Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said the leave can now be taken in the first two years of the child’s life.

Parent’s leave is available to both employees and people who are self-employed

Cabinet met today in Dublin Castle to discuss a number of issues, including the July stimulus package and Brexit.

Ministers also discussed the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme, which aims to help small and medium businesses. Legislation to put the scheme on a legal footing was approved by the Dáil last week.

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