Parental benefits extended from five to seven weeks – The Irish Times

Parents of children under the age of two can claim comprehensive state benefits to help them spend more time with their families.

The weekly Parental Benefit of €250 was previously capped at five weeks, but can now be requested for a total of seven weeks.

It is also available to parents who have adopted a child within the past two years, but those who receive it must have a required number of PRSI contributions.

The government has extended the duration of the financial support in response to the EU Work Life Balance Directive, which states that the payment should be further extended to nine weeks next summer.

More than 51,000 parents – mothers and fathers – took advantage of the benefit last year, a threefold increase compared to the total in 2020.

Children’s Secretary Roderic O’Gorman said the scheme would allow tens of thousands of new parents to take time off from work with some financial assistance.

“Welcoming a child into the world is one of the most important moments in a parent’s life,” he said. “We want to make sure new parents are supported to spend quality time with their babies in those early weeks and months, and to be there to share special bonding moments.”

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