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April 27, 2023

How Much is Paternity Benefit in Ireland?

In 2024, Paternity Benefit in Ireland is €274 per week for 2 weeks. Learn more about the rates and the eligibility for this benefit.

Aine Kavanagh

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Aine Kavanagh

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Paternity Benefit is a social welfare payment for employed and self-employed people on paternity leave in Ireland. 

If you’re entitled to Paternity Benefit in 2024, you may receive a full rate of €274/week or a half-rate of €137/week, depending on your eligibility.

Let’s find out more.

How Much Is Paternity Benefit?

Depending on the other social benefits you claim, you could receive a full or half-rate Paternity Benefit plus an increased rate for dependants. 

Here are the rates of Paternity Benefit:

1. Full Rate Paternity Benefit

The standard rate of Paternity Benefit is €274 a week in 2024.

You can claim Paternity Benefit as long as you:

  • Are on paternity leave from work: Under Ireland’s Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016, new fathers are entitled to two consecutive weeks of paternity leave, which can begin anytime within the first 26 weeks of the birth or adoption placement of your child. 

  • Have enough social insurance contributions (PRSI) in one of the relevant classes: You should fall into Class S, A, E, or H. 

Paternity Benefit is available for any child born or adopted on or after 1 September 2016. It's also available to same-sex couples. 

Paternity Benefit is paid over two weeks, in the first six months after a child's birth or adoption placement.

 2. Half Rate Paternity Benefit

If you’re receiving any of the social welfare payments listed below, you may be eligible for a half rate of Paternity Benefit, which is €137 per week in 2024

You can claim half rate Paternity Benefit if you receive:

  • One-Parent Family Payment

  • Death benefits or Survivor's Benefits — under the Irish Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme (e.g., Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partners Pension)

3. Payment for Dependants

The relevant parent (father of the child or partner, spouse, or cohabitant of the birth mother) may be eligible for a higher Paternity Benefit payment if they have other dependants.

Note: Paternity Benefit isn’t just for men. It can be claimed by the spouse, cohabitant, or civil partner of the birth mother, adopting mother, or sole male adopter — regardless of gender.

In this case, the Paternity Benefit rate is compared against the Illness Benefit rate they would receive if they had to be absent from work due to sickness. 

They’re entitled to the higher rate between the two.

Confused?

Here’s an example: 

Let’s say you earn €300 or more a week and are entitled to standard Paternity Benefit (weekly rate of €274) in 2024, and your partner or cohabitant is unemployed. 

Your entitlement upon sickness would be €232 Illness Benefit, plus €154 for your adult dependant (cohabitant or partner). So your Illness Benefit weekly rate would be €386. 

Your Paternity Benefit payment can’t be less than your Illness Benefit rate. 

So, in this case, you’ll receive a Paternity Benefit rate of €386 per week.

Wait, we aren’t done yet. 

A few important considerations:

  • If you have an adult dependant who claims social welfare, you aren’t entitled to an increase in Paternity Benefit. 

  • If you have a child dependant on whom you’re claiming social welfare (e.g., Child Benefit), you may be entitled to a half-rate increase.

  • If you have an unemployed adult dependant signing on for PRSI credits or earning under €100.01 a week, you qualify for full rate increases. 

  • If you have an adult dependant with weekly earnings between €100.01 and €310, you’re entitled to a tapered rate increase for an adult dependant and a full rate increase for a child dependant. 

  • If your adult dependant earns from €310.01 to €400 per week, you’re entitled to a half rate increase for a child dependant. 

  • If your adult dependant earns over €400 a week, you’re not entitled to any increase for dependants. 

Paternity Benefit is not to be confused with Parent’s Benefit. Parent’s Benefit is a parental benefit given in the first two years in the case of adoption or birth of a child. New parents can also avail benefits like parental leave and adoptive leave if they meet the qualifying conditions.

5 FAQs About Paternity Benefit Payments

Here are five questions people typically ask about Paternity Benefit payments:

1. How Is Paternity Benefit Paid? 

You will receive Paternity Benefit payments in your bank account or building society (current or deposit) account. It won’t be paid into a mortgage account. 

Alternatively, you can opt for the payment to go into your employer’s bank account. 

Remember:

Some employers may continue to pay you in full while you’re on two weeks paternity leave. In these circumstances, they may require the Paternity Benefit to be paid to them — check your contract of employment or consult your employer.   

2. What Is the Paternity Benefit Rate for Stillbirths or Miscarriages?

You are entitled to full Paternity Benefit if there is a stillbirth or miscarriage of your child any time after the 24th week of pregnancy (from the 25th week). 

However, you must have the required PRSI contributions.

To apply for Paternity Benefit following a stillbirth or miscarriage:

  • Get a medical certificate from your partner’s doctor confirming these details:

    • Expected date of birth

    • Actual date of birth

    • Length of pregnancy in weeks

  • Submit the application form with your personal details and a letter from the medical practitioner of the mother concerned to the Department of Social Protection at:

  • Have your paternity leave certified by the relevant employer or yourself (if self-employed). You’ll have to provide your employer with proof of the expected delivery date of the child. 

Register with mywelfare.ie and sign up for a Public Services Card before applying for Paternity Benefit.

3. Can You Receive Paternity Benefit Payments While Abroad?

If you’re outside of Ireland, you can still receive payment of Paternity Benefit for a maximum of 2 weeks. This applies to European Union (EU) and non-EU citizens. 

Notify the Paternity Benefit Section that you require the payment to be made abroad.  

Contact the Paternity Benefit Section for further information.

4. Am I Still Entitled to Paternity Benefit If I’m Receiving Payments From My Employer?

Yes, you are still entitled to Paternity Benefit if your employer is paying you during your two weeks paternity leave. 

However, your employer may require you to have your Paternity Benefit paid to them if they pay you in full during your absence. 

5. Do You Pay Tax on Paternity Benefit?

Yes, you have to pay tax on Paternity Benefit. 

But you do not have to pay Universal Social Charge (USC) and PRSI (social insurance) on your Paternity Benefit payment. 

The rate of tax a person pays differs according to individual circumstances, the rate band, and tax credits.

Simplify Your Employee Benefits Experience with Kota

Paternity Benefit is covered under PRSI for qualified individuals — who may receive a full or half-rate benefit. 

But as an employer that values your team, you want the best for them. 

And that includes more comprehensive benefits than the standard Irish employment rights, especially as their families grow. 

That’s where Kota comes in! 

Kota streamlines employee private health insurance in one powerful app — no more wading through mountains of paperwork! Once you’ve chosen your contribution, employees can select the necessary health packages. 

Sign up with Kota and take your employee benefit management to new heights!

Aine Kavanagh

Article written by

Aine Kavanagh

👋🏻 Hi I'm Aine, Head of Customer Success at Kota. Whether you're a Kota customer, a Kota user, or you're just browsing, I hope to help educate and empower those who want to know more about owning their own benefits, and building financial autonomy 📚

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