THERE has been a drop in the number of Donegal fathers taking up paternity leave so far this year, according to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
A total of 587 men availed of the Government scheme between January and October 2018 compared to 614 last year during the same period last year. Paternity benefit was introduced in September 2016 and since then 1,454 fathers in Donegal availed of the scheme.
Fathers taking paternity leave are set to see an increase in their Paternity Benefit from March 2019. Currently the rate is 240 per week but this will increase to 245 next year.
The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty welcomed the fact that 51,409 people have availed of the two week payment.
Minister Doherty said: ““The Government recognises the importance of providing support for parents of young children and is very much aware that the first year in a child’s life is of particular importance.”