Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and North Meath, Niamh Smyth, has received confirmation that legislation for the extension of parent’s benefit is expected to be passed early next month.  

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 introduced two weeks of paid Parents’ Leave for each parent to be taken in the first year after the birth or adoptive placement of a child. 

Deputy Smyth explained, “Under proposals approved by Government in December 2020, each parent will be given an additional three weeks of paid Parents’ Leave, and the period in which it can be taken will be extended to the first two years after the birth or adoptive placement of a child.

By way of parliamentary question, Deputy Smyth asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth when legislation for the extension of parent’s benefit is expected to be passed. 

In his response, Minister O’Gorman said that the drafting of the legislation needed to make this change is well advanced and it will be introduced at the earliest opportunity, the aim being that this legislation will be enacted by the beginning of April 2021. 

Deputy Smyth commented, “I raised this issue,  following a number of queries raised with me by families across my constituency. This government is committed to ensuring every child gets the best possible start in life and supporting parents to spend more time with their kids is essential to that.  

“The first 24 months are particularly formative for a child and the benefit of allowing parent’s greater time with a new baby will be beneficial to individual children, families and society as a whole,” she concluded.