For comprehensive details of the paternity leave scheme refer to Chapter Four of Circular 0054/2019 (PDF), published 1 September 2019.

Permanent, CID-holding, fixed-term, and non-casual substitute teachers whose spouse or partner gives birth after twenty-four weeks, or earlier to a live baby, will be entitled to take paternity leave. Paternity leave is also available to adopting parents. Paternity leave is paid, with substitute cover, and lasts two consecutive weeks.

Paternity Leave is a single period of two consecutive weeks paid leave, available to a relevant parent on the birth or adoption of a child.

The term “relevant parent” refers to a teacher (other than the mother of a child) who is one of the following:

  • father of the child
  • spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant of the birth mother or adopting parent of the child
  • spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant of the sole male adopter of the child
  • parent of the child, under Section 5 of the Children and Family Act 2015 where the child is a donor-conceived child

The leave may be taken within six months of the birth or placement of the child.

Read 10 Things You Need to Know About Paternity Leave (PDF)

Teachers taking paternity leave must also apply for paternity benefit from the Department of Social Protection. The value of this weekly benefit will be deducted from salary during paternity leave.

Watch this video from the DSP for more details

In order to claim this benefit, a teacher must hold a Public Services Card. Almost two million of these cards have been issued. The application process for a Public Services Card involves a face to face interview, by appointment in a local office. Teachers who intend to apply for paternity benefit early in the new school year are advised to apply for a Public Services Card as soon as possible. Get more information on how to apply on

If you have questions about paternity leave, the INTO QueryLine operates 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, on 01 804 7700.

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