Paternity Leave

Paternity Benefit is a payment for employed and self-employed people who are on paternity leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). It is paid for two weeks and is available for any child born or adopted on or after 1 September 2016. Paternity leave can start at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement.

Applications should be made 4 weeks before the intended start date of paternity leave (12 weeks if self-employed).

Antenatal Appointments

Expectant fathers / partners have a once-off right to attend the two antenatal classes immediately prior to the birth. 

Public holidays and annual leave

Apart from pay and superannuation, time spent on paternity leave is treated as though employees have been in employment, and this time can be used to accumulate annual leave and public holiday entitlement.

Postponing paternity leave

The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides for postponement of paternity leave. For example, if the birth is later than expected or if the date of placement of an adopted child is postponed, you may postpone the date of the leave.

Under Section 11, if you are sick before your paternity leave starts, you may postpone the paternity leave until you recover. You should notify your employer in writing and provide evidence of your illness.

If your baby is hospitalised, you can ask your employer in writing if you can postpone all or part of your paternity leave.

How to apply

The Workplace Relations Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the paternity leave legislation in Ireland. Queries about entitlement to paternity leave, postponing leave, etc. should be addressed to:

Workplace Relations Commission
O'Brien Road
Tel: (059) 9178990
Lo Call: 1890 80 80 90

Employees wishing to apply for Paternity Benefit should complete form PB1, employers need to complete the Employer Certificate (PB2) which is attached to it.

Send completed application forms to:

Paternity Benefit Section,


Department of Social Protection

McCarter's Road


Co. Donegal

Telephone: (01) 4715898

LoCall: 1890 690 690

Need help? Support is available at 01 8352074 or

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