Maternity Leave and Maternity benefits in Ireland ::

Maternity Benefit

The employee needs to apply for the payment 6 weeks before they intend to go on maternity leave (16 weeks if they are self-employed). The amount of money paid to them each week will depend on their earnings. If the employee is already on certain social welfare payments then they will receive half-rate Maternity Benefit.

Maternity Benefit is a tax-free payment.

Leave Certification

All employees must have their leave certified by their employer. However, where a claimant receives her P45 within 14 weeks of her expected date of confinement and she satisfies the PRSI contribution conditions, benefit will be payable from the day after the date on the P45.

Length of Time Maternity Benefit is Paid

Maternity Benefit is paid for 22 weeks. At least 2 weeks and not more than 14 weeks leave must be taken before the end of the week in which the baby is due.


Maternity Benefit is paid by the Department of Social and Family Affairs to women who have paid a certain number of PRSI contributions on their own insurance record and who are in recognised work up to the first day of their maternity leave. The last day of work can be within 14 weeks of the expected date of arrival of your baby.

Disqualification from Maternity Benefit

One will be disqualified (or banned) from receiving Maternity Benefit if during the time for which their Benefit is payable they engage in any employment or work other than domestic activities in their own home.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is not recognised in employment law in Ireland. In other words, employers are not obliged to grant male employees special paternity leave (either paid or unpaid) following the birth of their child.

For more information:

Maternity Benefit Section
Department of Social and Family Affairs
Social Welfare Services Office
Oliver Plunkett Road
Co. Donegal

LoCall: 1890 690 690

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