The MB10 Form which was previously used to claim Maternity Benefit has been discontinued and replaced with a number of new forms. Employees can now apply for Maternity Benefit using an MB1 Form which is completed by the employee only and does not have to be provided to the employer.

The employer now completes an MB2 Form confirming the start date and end date of the employee's maternity leave and the employee's expected due date. The employer should also include the employer's bank details where the employee authorises that the Maternity Benefit can be paid to her employer. If the person is self-employed or has recently become unemployed, then an MB3 Form must be completed by her doctor.

The MB1, MB2 and MB3 Forms are available on the DSP website.

Employers previously completed Part 4 of the MB10 Form which gave them access to all of the employee's personal information. The MB10 Form also required employers to forecast an employee's PRSI contributions up to the commencement date of maternity leave. This is no longer required.

Applications for Maternity Benefit can also be made online using in which case the supporting Forms must be uploaded online to accompany the application.

Employers are not obliged to pay employees while they are absent on paternity leave but they can choose to do so. Similarly, employers are not obliged to pay employees while they are absent on maternity leave. However, if employers pay female employees while they are absent on maternity leave, then, they should ensure that they do not discriminate against male employees in relation to paternity leave.