Your Maternity Rights


During the exciting months and weeks leading up to the birth of your baby, you may be thinking about everything except perhaps finding out more about your Maternity Rights. From Maternity Leave to Maternity Benefit, in this blog post we’ve kept things simple, and outlined all the key info you need to know.

Maternity Leave:

  • All female employees working in Ireland are legally entitled to 42 weeks’ leave (just over 10 months)
  • You will continue to be paid throughout the first 26 weeks, however the final 16 weeks do not have to be paid – check with your employer
  • You must take maternity leave during the two weeks before your expected due date and the four weeks after it
  • You are entitled to payment for any bank holidays that occur during your maternity leave, as you are stilled classed as an employee.
  • Rates of pay vary by employer and are specified in employment contracts. However the legal minimum rate of pay during maternity leave is €235 per week, which comes in the form of Maternity Benefit (see below)
  • To apply, fill in a Maternity Benefit application formsix weeks before you intend to go on maternity leave, 12 weeks if self-employed.

Maternity Benefit:

  • Maternity Benefit can be paid to women (employed or self-employed) who have a certain number of paid PRSI contributions on their social insurance record and who are in insurable employment up to the first day of their maternity leave.
  • Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks. It must be started at least two weeks and not more than 16 weeks before the end of the week in which your baby is due.
  • Maternity Benefit is paid directly into your bank or building society account(current or deposit account) or directly into your employer's bank account. Payment is made each week in advance.
  • Since 1st July 2013 Maternity Benefit is liable to tax. It is not, however, subject to PRSI or USC.
  • Revenue will receive your Maternity Benefit details, which will be updated onto Revenue’s records. If self-assessed, you should include details of the Maternity Benefit received in your annual tax return (Form 11).

And finally, a quick reminder that:

All women living in Ireland are entitled to free maternity care, regardless of any health insurance they hold. This free care includes 

19th Dec 2019 Susanna

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