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Payment of social benefits

HRB policy on the payment of social benefits

This policy refers to maternity leave, paternity leave, adoptive leave and paid sick leave and applies to all HRB contracts.

1.  Salaried staff with PRSI eligibility

1.1  For employees on HRB-funded contracts, who satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions for maternity, paternity and adoptive leave[1] or for paid sick leave[2] and can avail of social welfare maternity, paternity, adoptive or sickness benefit, the HRB will provide additional funding for the duration of statutory entitlement in the case of maternity, paternity and adoptive leave (see Section 3 below for these durations).

1.2  For paid sick leave, the HRB will provide additional funding, in accordance with the policies of the Host Institution, for the period for which the Host Institution makes provision for paid sick leave.

1.3  'Additional' in Clause 1.1 refers to the difference between social welfare maternity benefit, paternity benefit or adoptive benefit and the salary stipulated for that employee in the HRB contract. In the case of paid sick leave (Clause 1.2), and in accordance with the policies in place in the Host Institution, the 'additional' amount may be less than the difference between social welfare sickness benefit and salary.

1.4  The employee is responsible for ensuring that social welfare maternity benefit, paternity, adoptive or sickness benefit is claimed from Social Welfare in a timely manner.

1.5  The HRB will reimburse the Host Institution at the end of the leave period, on receipt of written confirmation that the claimant has returned to work, for the cost of providing additional funding, as described in Clause 1.3 above.

1.6  Approval of an extension to the award for a period equivalent to the maternity, paternity, adoptive or paid sick leave will be made on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on the project and whether such an extension is necessary to ensure that all deliverables are met. It is the responsibility of the HRB grant holder to request an extension of the grant duration on the Request for Social Benefits Form.  

2.  Post-graduate students and salaried staff without PRSI eligibility

2.1 For post-graduate students or employees who do not satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions for maternity, paternity and adoptive leave or for paid sick leave, the HRB will provide the salary amount (salaried staff) or stipend amount (post-graduate students) to persons on maternity, paternity and adoptive leave for the duration of the statutory entitlement (see Section 3 below for those durations).

2.2  For paid sick leave, the HRB will provide funding, in accordance with the policies of the Host Institution, for the period and amount for which the Host Institution makes provision for paid sick leave.

2.3  The Host Institution is responsible for verifying the ineligibility for social welfare maternity benefit, social welfare paternity benefit, social welfare adoptive benefit or sickness benefit of the employee or student.

2.4  The HRB will reimburse the Host Institution at the end of the leave period, on provision of an invoice and of proof for ineligibility for the relevant social welfare benefit, for the cost of providing the salary or stipend, as described in Clause 2.1 and 2.2 above.

2.5  Where required, the HRB will cover the cost of post-graduate registration fees up to a maximum of 1 additional academic year for post-graduate students, as awarded in the contract, whom have taken maternity or adoptive leave or paid sick leave.

2.6  Approval for an extension to the award for a period equivalent to the maternity leave, paternity leave, adoptive leave or paid sick leave may be made on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on the project and whether such an extension is necessary to ensure that all deliverables are met. It is the responsibility of the HRB grant holder to request an extension to the grant duration on the Request for Social Benefits Form.  

3.  Statutory entitlements to paid leave

3.1  Maternity Leave

  • 0 weeks for employees who do not satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions
  • 26 consecutive weeks for employees who satisfy the PRSI contributions, whose contracts of employment (associated with HRB funding) have 26 weeks or longer to run.
  • For employees with less that 26 weeks left in their contract (associated with HRB funding), their entitlement to paid Maternity Leave only extends to the end of their contract.
  • Employees also have the right to an additional period of 16 weeks unpaid leave, which must be taken immediately following the maternity leave period. There is no entitlement to social welfare maternity benefit for the additional sixteen weeks leave.

3.2  Paternity Leave

  • 0 weeks for employees who do not satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions
  • 2 consecutive weeks for employees who satisfy the PRSI contributions, whose contracts of employment (associated with HRB funding) have 2 weeks or longer to run.
  • For employees with less that 2 weeks left in their contract (associated with HRB funding), their entitlement to paid Paternity Leave only extends to the end of their contract.
  • Paternity leave can be taken at any time in the 26 weeks following the birth or adoption of a child. 
  • This provision applies to births and adoptions on or after 1 September 2016.

3.3  Adoptive Leave

  • 0 weeks for employees who do not satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions
  • 24 consecutive weeks for employees who satisfy the PRSI contributions, whose contracts of employment (associated with HRB funding) have 24 weeks or longer to run.
  • For employees with less that 24 weeks left in their contract (associated with HRB funding), their entitlement to paid Adoptive Leave only extends to the end of their contract.
  • Employees also have the right to an additional period of 16 weeks unpaid leave, which must be taken immediately following the adoptive leave period. There is no entitlement to social welfare adoptive benefit for the additional sixteen weeks leave.

In the case of a foreign adoption, some or all of the sixteen weeks additional adoptive leave may be taken immediately before the date of placement. There is no entitlement to social welfare adoptive benefit for the additional sixteen weeks leave.

All notifications of maternity leave, paternity leave, adoptive leave and paid sick leave and requests for extensions to a grant (made on the Request for Social Benefits Form) should be sent to: grantchanges(at)hrb.ie


[1] Eligible persons are those who have at least 39 weeks PRSI paid contributions in the 12 month period before the first day of maternity, paternity leave or date of placement of your child or at least 39 weeks PRSI paid contributions since first starting work and at least 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited contributions in the relevant tax year or in the year following the relevant tax year. Alternatively you must have at least 26 weeks PRSI paid contributions in the relevant tax year and at least 26 weeks PRSI paid contributions in the tax year prior to the relevant tax year. Only PRSI Classes A, E and H count

[2] Eligible persons are those who have at least 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid since they first started work and 39 weeks PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year. Alternatively they must have 26 weeks PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year and 26 weeks PRSI contributions paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.

Download Social Benefits Policy Document
Download Social Benefits Payment Form

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