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family poll

Poll: Should paternity leave be mandatory for fathers?

Over 27,000 fathers have availed of paternity leave so far.

daniela-rey-357048 Unsplash Unsplash

UP UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2016, fathers in Ireland only received paternity leave at the discretion of their employer.

Since then however, over 27,000 fathers have benefited from a statutory paternity leave initiative which includes two optional weeks off work within six months of their child’s birth, along with a payment of €235 each week, under the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016.

Although definitive figures have yet to be released, a spokesperson for the Department of Social Protection said uptake is predicted to be lower than that of maternity leave.

“It is expected that there will be approximately 30,000 paternity benefit claims paid in 2017, which would equate to approximately 70 per cent of the number of maternity benefit claims for last year (based on the latest available figures),” the spokesperson added.

Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune said the figures were “not a bad start,” and added that while she’d be reluctant to make paternity leave mandatory, a “use it or lose it” approach could work to increase uptake.

So, tell us – do you think paternity leave should be mandatory for fathers?

Poll Results:

Absolutely (121)
No, it should be optional (88)
I'm not sure (4)

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