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Health and Safety Benefit

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What Health and Safety Benefit is

Health and Safety Benefit is a weekly payment of €203 to employed women who are:

  • pregnant or breastfeeding
  • granted health and safety leave by their employer
  • covered by social insurance (PRSI)

You are granted health and safety leave if your employer cannot:

  • remove a risk to your health while you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • assign you alternative ‘risk-free’ duties

During health and safety leave, you are still considered to be employed. This means, for example, that you continue to accumulate annual leave. But you are not entitled to be paid for public holidays while you are on health and safety leave. If you are on certain social welfare payments, you may get half-rate Health and Safety Benefit.

How to qualify

If you meet all necessary requirements to be considered in a dangerous circumstance, you may be eligible for Health and Safety Benefit. There are three circumstances that meet this description:

Circumstance One

  • you meet the requirements for social insurance (PRSI) contributions
  • you are a pregnant employee and are exposed to certain risks in the workplace or involved in night work

Circumstance Two

  • you are an employee who has given birth in the last 14 weeks
  • you are involved in night work

Circumstance Three

  • you are breastfeeding (up to 26 weeks after giving birth) and exposed to certain risks in the workplace (you can get details of the risks involved from the Health and Safety Authority)
  • you have been awarded health and safety leave

In law, night work is defined as work between 11pm on any day and 6am on the next day, where either:

  • the employee normally works at least three hours during the night
  • at least 25 per cent of the employee’s work every month is at night

You can get details of the risks involved in night work from the Health and Safety Authority.

Rates of payment

The standard rate is €203 a week. However, the weekly rate you may get depends on how much you earn in the relevant tax year.

To qualify for the standard rate, your average earnings must be at least €300 a week. If you earn less than this, you will get a reduced rate.

When you go on health and safety leave, your employer pays your normal wage for the first three weeks (21 days). The department pays your Health and Safety Benefit after that.

Your Health and Safety Benefit is no longer payable in two situations, where one or more circumstances apply:

Your eligible period has ended

  • you become entitled to Maternity Benefit
  • 4 weeks have passed since you gave birth
  • 26 weeks have passed since you gave birth, if you are breastfeeding

Your workplace circumstances change

  • you are no longer at risk
  • your employer has removed the risk or given you other work
  • you have a fixed-term contract and that contract ends

Health and Safety Benefit is paid directly into your current or deposit account at your bank or building society. It cannot be paid into a mortgage account.

Taxes

If you pay tax, you will have to pay tax on Health and Safety Benefit. You will not have to pay the Universal Social Charge (USC) or social insurance (PRSI).

Apply

Apply for Health and Safety Benefit as soon as your employer has granted you health and safety leave.

Health and Safety Benefit HSB1

Health and Safety Benefit HSB1 Application form

Download

Once completed, return the form below to:

Health and Safety Benefit Section

Address:
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Donegal, Buncrana, F93 CH79

(rates charged for LoCall may vary)

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