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18
Mar 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

The Parent's Leave & Benefit Act 2019: Extension of Leave

The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 came into effect on the 1st of November 2019 and provides for 2 weeks Parent’s Leave with protection of employment for a relevant parent in respect of a child born or adopted on or after the 1st of November 2019. The purpose of the Act is to enable the relevant parent to provide, or assist in the provision of, care to the child.


In acknowledgement of the difficulties experienced by parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cabinet has announced that parents of children born or adopted from the 1st of November 2019 can avail of an additional three weeks of Parent's leave from April 2021 and will be paid at the rate of €245 a week. The benefit is now for five week’s paid leave for each parent up to their child's 2nd birthday which can be taken as either five consecutive weeks or in smaller separate block of a minimum of 1 week duration each.

 

Currently the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 sets out the entitlements and criteria applicable to Parent’s Leave available to the relevant parent. Eligibility for Parent’s Leave depends on the employee meeting specific criteria including the following,

  • The employee’s status as a relevant parent,
  • The employee taking the leave within 52 weeks of the birth of the child or in the case of adoption, from the placement date, and,
  • The employee providing certain notice requirements.

Entitlement to leave is for a relevant parent which is:

  • A parent of the child
  • A spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the parent of the child
  • A parent of a donor-conceived child as provided for under section 5 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015
  • The adopting parent or parents of a child
  • The spouse or civil partner of the adopting parent of the child (if the parents have not adopted the child together).

Parent’s Benefit can be applied for at any time to be taken within the first 2 years the child’s life and does not need to be taken directly after maternity leave, paid or unpaid. This leave can be taken within 24 months, up to a child's second birthday or within two years following adoption. This measure will be available from April 2021 as it requires primary legislation to commence the extension of the parent’s leave and the development of the IT system to process the benefit.

Paid parent leave can be taken in addition to existing Maternity Leave, Adoptive Leave, Paternity Leave and Parental Leave rights, as applicable to each "relevant" parent.

To exercise the right to Parent’s Leave, the employee must give their employer at least 6 week’s written notice of their intention to take the leave. To apply for Parent's Leave visit here.

View entitlements under Maternity Benefit and Paternity Benefit.

If you are looking to adopt or change your HR Software please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Book a free 15-minute online demo to see how Bright Contracts can change your world of HR.

Posted in Bright Contracts News, Customer Update, Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Parental Leave, Staff Handbook

7
Nov 17

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Premature Births and Maternity Benefit

From 1st October 2017, the period for which Maternity Benefit is paid has been extended in cases where a baby is born prematurely. A premature birth is described as one at less than 37 weeks’ gestation. It is estimated that every year in Ireland approximately 4,500 babies are born prematurely.

Currently, under the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004, a mother is entitled to 26 weeks’ maternity leave and 16 weeks’ unpaid leave. Maternity leave normally starts two weeks before the baby’s expected due date or on the date of the birth of the child, should it be earlier.

Under the new amendment, where a child is born prematurely the mother’s paid maternity leave will be extended by the equivalent of the duration between the actual date of birth of the premature baby and the date when the maternity leave was expected to start.  For example, where a baby is born in the 30th week of gestation the mother would have an additional entitlement of approximately seven weeks of maternity leave and benefit i.e. from the date of birth in the 30th week to the two weeks before the expected date of confinement. This additional period will be added on to the mother’s normal entitlement to 26 weeks of maternity leave and benefit, where the mother meets the ordinary qualifying criteria.

Mothers of pre-term babies are advised to contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), email maternityben@welfare.ie, to arrange the additional payment.

Babies surviving from the earliest gestation's, such as 23 weeks, can spend months in a neonatal unit in hospital, by the time a premature baby gets to go home, a mother’s maternity leave can almost be used up. This new change has been heralded as a positive step in supporting parents during a difficult time.

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Posted in Company handbook, Contract of employment, Customer Update, Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employment Contract, Wages

11
Oct 17

Posted by
Audrey Mooney

Budget 2018 - Employer Payroll Focus

Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

  • There was no change to tax rates for 2018, the standard rate will remain at 20% and the higher rate at 40%.
  • Standard Rate Cut Off Points (SRCOPs) will be increased by €750 from 1st January 2018.

Emergency Basis of PAYE

Employee provides PPS Number:

Where an employee does not provide their PPS Number the higher rate of 40% tax applies to all earnings.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit will be increased by €200 from €950 to €1,150.

Home Carer Tax Credit

The Home Carer Tax Credit will be increased from €1,100 to €1,200.

Universal Social Charge (USC)

  • Exemption threshold remains at €13,000
  • 2.5% rate reduced to 2%, threshold for this rate increased from €18,772 to €19,372
  • 5% rate reduced by 0.25% to 4.75%
  • No change to 8% rate

Medical card holders and individuals aged 70 years and older whose aggregate income does not exceed €60,000 will pay a maximum rate of 2%.

The emergency rate of USC remains at 8%.

PRSI & USC

The Minister outlined his intention to establish a working group in 2018 to carry out a review of the possible integration of PRSI and USC.

National Training Levy

The National Training Levy of 0.7% which is currently collected as part of the employer PRSI contribution will increase to fund further and higher education, the increases are as follows:

  • 0.8% in 2018
  • 0.9% in 2019
  • 1% in 2020

Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI)

There were no changes to general PRSI thresholds or employee PRSI announced in the Budget. However, as the National Training Levy is increasing and it is collected as part of the employer PRSI contribution, employer PRSI will increase as follows:

  • 8.5% increased to 8.6%
  • 10.75% increased to 10.85%

Benefit in Kind (BIK) - Electric Cars

A 0% rate of BIK will apply to electric vehicles provided by an employer to an employee in 2018 which is available for private use. Electricity used by the employee in the workplace to charge the car will also be exempt from BIK.

PAYE Modernisation

PAYE Modernisation will be effective from 1st January 2019. Budget 2018 has allocated €50 million for a project to enhance Revenue's IT capacity and to ensure employer compliance.

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage will increase from €9.25 to €9.55 per hour in respect of hours worked on or after 1st January 2018.

  • Workers under age 18 will be entitled to €6.69 per working hour
  • Workers in their first year of employment over the age of 18 will be entitled to €7.64 per working hour
  • Workers in their second year of employment over the age of 18 will be entitled to €8.60 per working hour

Social Welfare Payments

There will be a €5 increase in all weekly Social Welfare payments with effect from 26th March 2018. The maximum personal rate of Illness Benefit will be increased to €198 per week. Maternity Benefit and Paternity Benefit will be increased to €240 per week.

Posted in Customer Update