Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maternity Benefit

Maternity Benefit is a payment made to women on who are maternity leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). You should apply for the payment 6 weeks before you intend to go on maternity leave (12 weeks if you are self-employed). The amount of money paid to you each week will depend on your earnings. If you are already on certain social welfare payments then you will get half-rate Maternity Benefit.

Maternity Benefit is paid directly to you on a weekly basis into your bank or building society account. Some employers will continue to pay an employee, in full, while she is on maternity leave and require her to have any Maternity Benefit paid to them. You should check your contract of employment to see what applies to you. Maternity Benefit is a tax-free payment. Revenue will inform you how Maternity Benefit is treated for tax purposes.

Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks. At least 2 weeks and not more than 16 weeks leave must be taken before the end of the week in which your baby is due.

If your baby is born later than expected and you have less than 4 weeks maternity leave left, you may be entitled to extend your maternity leave to ensure that you have a full 4 weeks off following the week of the birth. In these circumstances Maternity Benefit will continue to be paid to you until the baby is 4 weeks old.

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