(Should be read in conjunction with the General Provisions for All Schemes, and Definitions as laid out in Circular 0054/2019)
The Paternity Leave Scheme is regulated by the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016.
The purpose of Paternity Leave is to allow the relevant parent paid leave to provide, or assist in, the care of the child or to provide support to the mother or adopting parent of the child as the case may be, or both.
The term relevant parent refers to a teacher (other than the mother of a child) who is one of the following:
Entitlement to Paternity Leave
Paternity Leave is a single period of 2 consecutive weeks (i.e. 14 consecutive days including weekends, school closures and days on which a teacher is not timetabled for attendance within that period).
Paternity Leave may commence at any time from the date of birth or date of placement of the child to 26 weeks thereafter, except where the leave is postponed in the event of hospitalisation of the child.
In the case of multiple births, or where more than one child is being adopted at the same time the maximum of 2 consecutive weeks leave still applies.
Paternity Leave is available in the case of stillbirths which occur after the 24th week of pregnancy.
Only one person who is a relevant parent in relation to a child shall be entitled to Paternity Leave in respect of that child.
A teacher may not avail of Paternity Leave where they are availing/have availed of Adoptive Leave for the same child with the exception of where the leave has been transferred on the death of the other parent.
There are 2 steps in applying for Paternity Leave
Step 1 – Written Notification
The teacher must notify his/her employer in writing of their intention to take Paternity Leave at least 4 weeks prior to the planned commencement date of such leave accompanied by the following documents:
In the case of a birth:
In the case of an adoption:
Step 2 – Completion of Application Form
The teacher must complete the Application Form at Appendix A; Chapter 4 of Circular 0054/2019 as soon as possible, but no later than 7 days after commencement of the leave and forward it to the employer with a copy of the birth certificate/official placement order for the child.
If the day of placement is postponed or the date of birth occurs after the date selected by the teacher in his/her notification given to the employer, the teacher shall be entitled to select another date on which the Paternity Leave shall commence.
Notification may be withdrawn in writing by the teacher to his/her employer not later than 4 weeks before the commencement of such leave.
Where the birth occurs 4 weeks or more before the expected date of birth, the teacher shall inform the employer immediately and will be deemed to have complied with the notification period if they intend to take the leave at that time. The formal written notification must be given within 7 days commencing on the day of birth.
In order to avail of statutory Paternity Leave, the teacher must complete the DEASP PB1 Form and should ensure that the employer completes the employer’s portion of the PB2 form. The completed form must be forwarded to the DEASP by the teacher at least 6 weeks prior to the leave commencement date. The PB1 Form should not be sent to the Department.
Alternatively, the teacher may make an online application for Paternity Benefit by logging on to https://services.mywelfare.ie/. In order to complete an online application, the teacher should ensure their employer has completed the DEASP PB2 Form.
Notification and Recording of Leave
The Paternity Leave absence must be notified by the employer to the Department via the OLCS immediately following receipt of the completed Application Form.
Pay Arrangements and Paternity Benefit
Continuation of salary during Paternity Leave is not a statutory entitlement and any action which necessitates an adjustment to a teacher’s pay should be notified to the Paymaster immediately.
Paternity Benefit payment is a taxable income.
Under the DEASP regulations, the following are the arrangements for PRSI contributors:
If the amount of Paternity Benefit payable to the teacher is less than the maximum, or if a teacher is not entitled to any Paternity Benefit, they should notify the Paymaster immediately to ensure that they can remain on the appropriate salary.
Changes to the automatic deduction can be made provided a copy of the DEASP’s written notice of the actual Paternity Benefit rate applicable, if any, is furnished by the teacher to the Paymaster. Deductions, where appropriate, will be made fortnightly during the period of Paternity Leave.
If the Paternity Leave absences are recorded late on the OLCS, any arrears will be deducted from the teacher’s salary.
Status during Paternity Leave
A teacher on Paternity Leave is deemed for all purposes to be in employment at that time including remuneration and superannuation. Paternity Leave is fully reckonable for seniority and progression on the incremental salary scale.
The employer may appoint a substitute teacher, paid by the Paymaster while a teacher is absent on Paternity Leave and this must be recorded by the employer via the OLCS
Employment while on Paternity Leave
A teacher absent on Paternity Leave may not engage in any type of teaching or other paid employment.
Postponement of Paternity Leave through Illness
In the event of illness of the teacher immediately prior to the commencement of his/her Paternity Leave, the Paternity Leave may be postponed.
The teacher must immediately inform the employer and must provide written notification of the postponement of the leave due to illness and include appropriate medical certification. Such absences shall be treated in accordance with the Sick Leave Scheme.
The postponed leave must be taken not later than 7 days after the teacher has been certified fit to resume duty or such other date as may be agreed between the teacher and the employer provided that the postponed leave shall end not later than 28 weeks after the date of birth or placement of the child.
Postponement of Paternity Leave through Hospitalisation of the Child
In the event of the hospitalisation of the child a request may be made to the employer for a postponement of the Paternity Leave.
Postponement of Paternity Leave will require the absent teacher to resume duties in the school during the period of postponement.
An application for postponement must be made in writing to the employer, accompanied by certification from the hospital in which the child is hospitalised. The employer must notify the teacher in writing as soon as possible of its decision. If the leave is postponed, the employer and the teacher must agree the date of return to work.
The teacher must provide the employer with a letter or other appropriate document from the hospital or the child’s doctor confirming the child’s discharge date.
The postponed leave must be taken in one continuous period commencing not later than 7 days after the discharge of the child from hospital or such other date as may be agreed between the teacher and the employer.
Entitlement to Paternity Leave on the Death of the Relevant Parent
In the event of the death of the relevant parent within a period of 28 weeks following the birth/adoption, Paternity Leave entitlement, or any remainder of that entitlement, shall transfer to the surviving parent:
In such circumstances and in the event that the surviving parent is a teacher, he/she must notify the employer in writing of the following, but not later than the day on which the transferred Paternity Leave begins:-
In the case of a surviving parent being entitled to Maternity Leave, a period of transferred Paternity Leave will commence immediately after the end of all Maternity Leave. In the case of Adoptive Leave, immediately after the end of all Adoptive Leave concerned.
Termination of Paternity Leave
Paternity Leave may be terminated by the employer if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the leave is being used for a purpose other than the care of the child or to provide support to the adopting parent or mother of the child.
Before terminating the leave the employer is obliged to:
The final decision notification should inform the teacher of his/her obligation to return to work not later than the date specified on the Application Form but no earlier than 7 days after receipt of the notice.