Paid parental leave and benefits have been extended to seven weeks from July 1st, 2022, meaning many parents will benefit with financial support from the state.

The extension applies to both mothers and fathers. The benefit is available for anyone who has a child under two years of age or who has adopted a child in the last two years.

Meanwhile, there has also been an increase in parents’ leave recipients since 2020, with 51,400 parents supported in 2021 which is compared to just 16,700 in 2020. Since the start of 2022, the total number of applications awarded reached over 28,000.

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman said the scheme would enable tens of thousands of new parents to take time away from work with some financial assistance.

“Welcoming a child into the world is one of the most important moments in a parent’s life. We want to ensure that new parents are supported to spend quality time with their babies in those first weeks and months and be there to share special bonding moments.”

Minister Humphreys stated that they are committed to a further expansion of Parent’s Leave and Benefit to 9 weeks in line with the Work Life Balance Directive.

Minister Humphreys commented, “I’m delighted that from today, tens of thousands of families across the country will benefit from 7 weeks’ paid parent’s leave and benefit. This is a support that we have increased over several Budgets and the significant raise in take-up demonstrates just how popular it is with parents.

“I believe strongly that the first few weeks and months spent with a new-born son or daughter is so important. Today’s measure will see the number of weeks of paid leave each parent can take increase from 5 to 7. Because by doing so, we will ensure that mothers and fathers who experience that special occasion of welcoming their child into the world, will know that their State supports them.”

Parent’s Benefit is paid at a rate of €250 a week – the same rate as Maternity, Paternity and Adoptive Benefit.

Seven weeks payment would represent a total of €1,750 per parent.

NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website, or email