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
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

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' leave and receive a State Paternity Benefit of €230 per week subject to the father having made

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 06/06/2016

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Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Zelda Cunningham. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email

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