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Cabinet signs off on extended parents' leave for mothers and fathers

Cabinet signs off on extended parents' leave for mothers and fathers

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman has secured Cabinet approval to extend paid Parent’s Leave to five weeks, while also extending the time the leave can be taken from just the first year to the first two years of child’s life.

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 introduced two weeks of paid Parent’s Leave for each parent to be taken in the first year after the birth or adoptive placement of a child, but the new proposals approved today provide an additional three weeks leave.

The period in which Parent’s Leave can be taken will also be extended to the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child, under the new proposals. It is anticipated that the legislation will be introduced in the New Year.

“We’re committed to ensuring every child gets the best possible start in life, and supporting parents to spend more time with their kids is a big part of that,” said Minister O’Gorman after today’s Cabinet meeting.

“I hope this five weeks paid parent’s leave will help mothers and fathers take that time in those precious first couple of years with their child.”

The Cabinet also approved the inclusion of provisions to amend the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 alongside the extension of Parent’s Leave and Benefit. 

Intended to enable married male same-sex adopting couples to avail of adoptive leave, the provisions will also allow all adopting couples to choose who should take the leave.

“I am happy to be in a position to advance these important amendments to the Adoptive Leave Act 1995. Addressing the access to adoptive leave and benefit by married male same-sex couples is an important commitment in the Programme for Government which is of great importance for couples seeking to adopt,” Minister O’Gorman said.

“Allowing couples to choose who avails of adoptive leave is also important for all couples, as it allows us to move past the gender norms which place the burden of childcare disproportionately on women.”

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