Although there is currently no legal requirement to pay paternity leave, could it be viewed as discrimination if the employer chooses not to pay paternity leave when they pay other types of leave such as maternity leave?Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 6 June 2016
Unlike maternity leave or other types of statutory protected leave, there is currently no statutory entitlement to paternity leave in Ireland.
If an employee argues that he is discriminated against because he does not receive paid paternity leave under his contract where the employer pays employees on maternity leave above the State Maternity Benefit, an employer could defend such a claim on the basis that the two entitlements are not similar - i.e. one is a contractual benefit, and the other is based on a statute which provides for specific protection for mothers and adoptive mothers.
However, the Government has proposed to introduce paternity leave with effect from September 2016, which will allow new fathers to take two weeks'
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