Ireland - Social Welfare Consolidation Act No. 26 of 2005, as amended by Social Welfare and Pensions Act No. 8 of 2007
Section 6 of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 only provides 2 weeks of paternity leave. Under section 47(5) of Ireland’s Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (No. 26 of 2005) provides that a father can only obtain additional parental financial support if the mother dies within a certain time period after giving birth.
- Country: Ireland
- Law status: Discriminatory law in force
- Law Type: Employment
Sex discrimination in economic status laws restricts women from being economically independent, limiting access to inheritance and property ownership as well as to employment opportunities, thereby reinforcing gender stereotypes and roles.
Unequal parental leave laws assume that the responsibility of childcare falls on women and may end up inhibiting women’s full economic participation.
Section 47. (5) Subject to this Chapter, maternity benefit [government financial support] shall be payable to
(a) a woman . . .
(c) a man . . .
(I) [only] where the mother dies . . . (II) . . . [within 40 weeks after giving birth] . . .
Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016:
Section 6: (1) Subject to this part, an employee who is a relevant parent in relation to a child shall be entitled to 2 weeks’ leave from his or her employment, to be known… as “paternity leave”, to enable him or her to provide, or assist in the provision of, care to the child or to provide support to the relevant adopting parent or mother of the child, as the case may be, or both.
Article 40 of the Constitution of Ireland: (1) All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law.
UPDATE: On 26 January 2016, the Irish government’s Department of Justice and Equality announced that fathers will now be entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave starting in September 2016. Previously fathers only received benefits if the mother died within a certain time period after giving birth. We welcome the news and encourage the government to continue to review the issue and consider additional paid paternity leave so that parents are treated equally.
Call on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to turn his words into deeds and ensure Ireland treats parents equally.