Burke urges prospective parents in Westmeath to sign up for Paternity Benefit

Proud parents Peter and Olivia with baby Leo

Proud parents Peter and Olivia with baby Leo

Deputy Peter Burke is encouraging prospective parents in Westmeath to sign up for Paternity Benefit.

The Fine Gael TD for Longford-Westmeath issued the call in line with a national awareness campaign launched by Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, urging prospective parents across the country to register for Paternity Benefit.

“Paternity Benefit becomes available on September 1 and will be paid at a rate of €230 a week for two weeks, to both employees and the self-employed,” said Deputy Burke. “As a first-time father as of seven months ago, I really welcome this development and believe it is a good start regarding paternity benefits.

“This is a ground-breaking measure, which meets the commitment made in Budget 2016 and in Fine Gael’s Election Manifesto. It is great news for fathers across the country and will afford them the opportunity to be more involved at the earliest stages of their child’s development. It will also give a break to mothers who often are the ones relied on to provide the most care after a baby is born, despite being exhausted after nine months of pregnancy and gruelling child labour.

“Fine Gael is also committed to significantly increasing parental leave for parents in Westmeath over the next five years and cutting the cost of childcare. We want to give every child in Westmeath and the country the best start in life and to improve the lives of everyone in Westmeath.”

Fathers in Westmeath who fulfil the PRSI requirements are eligible for Paternity Benefit when they take two weeks of paternity leave at any time within the first 26 weeks of their child’s life, or following adoption.

Parents in Westmeath require a Public Service Card in order to apply for Paternity Benefit. If they are an employee, they need to give four weeks’ notice to their employer to qualify for the accompanying paternity leave.

All the information on how to apply for paternity leave and how to get your Public Service Card is available at www.welfare.ie/paternitybenefit

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