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Minister signals pay-related maternity benefit payment

The Social Protection Minister has indicated that she wants to introduce a new maternity benefit payment.

Heather Humphreys told the Dáil that she believes there should be Pay-Related Maternity Benefit in this country.

The minister described it as the “logical next step”.

She made the comments during a Dáil debate on legislation on new welfare payments for workers who lose their jobs.

Under this scheme, the weekly rate of payment for people who have at least five years PRSI contributions will be set at 60% of previous earnings, up to to a maximum of €450 for the first three months.

After that, the rate will reduce to 55% of earnings, up to €375 for three months.

A further three months will be paid at the rate of 50% up to a maximum of €300.

For people who have between two and five years PRSI contributions, the rate will be set at 50% of previous gross earnings, up to a maximum of €300 per week, for six months.

This means that workers on average incomes will receive €450 for the first three months of unemployment.

These figures compare with the current Jobseeker’s Benefit personal rate of €232.

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