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Health and Safety Benefit

What is the Health and Safety Benefit?

Health and Safety Benefit is a weekly payment made to women in Ireland who are pregnant or breastfeeding and are granted health and safety leave by their employer due to potential risks in the workplace that cannot be removed or mitigated by assigning risk-free duties. This benefit is also contingent on the women being covered by social insurance (PRSI).

How to qualify for Health and Safety Benefit:

To qualify:

  • You are eligible for social insurance (PRSI) contributions.
  • You are a pregnant employee exposed to specific risks in the workplace or are involved in night work.
  • You are an employee who has given birth in the last 14 weeks and are involved in night work.
  • You are breastfeeding (up to 26 weeks after giving birth) and exposed to certain risks in the workplace, or have been awarded health and safety leave.

  • In this context, night work is defined as work between 11 PM of any day and 6 AM of the next day, where either the employee normally works at least three hours during the night, or at least 25% of the employee's work every month is performed at night.

    Rates of Payment:

    The standard weekly rate of the Health and Safety Benefit is €232. However, the amount you receive depends on your average weekly earnings in the relevant tax year:

    Average Weekly Earnings Weekly Health and Safety Benefit Rate
    €300 or more €232.00
    Between €220 and €299.99 €181.70
    Between €150 and €219.99 €149.60
    Between €32 and €149.99 €104.10

    For the first three weeks (21 days) of health and safety leave, your employer continues to pay your normal wage. After this period, the Department of Social Protection pays your Health and Safety Benefit.

    Cessation of Payment:

    Your Health and Safety Benefit will stop if:

    Your eligibility period has ended (you have become entitled to Maternity Benefit, four weeks have passed since you gave birth, or 26 weeks have passed since you gave birth if you are breastfeeding).

    Your workplace circumstances have changed (you are no longer at risk, your employer has removed the risk or given you other work, or your fixed-term contract has ended).

    The benefit is paid directly into your current or deposit account at your bank or building society, but it cannot be paid into a mortgage account.


    While Health and Safety Benefit is subject to tax, it is exempt from the Universal Social Charge (USC) and social insurance (PRSI) payments.

    How to Apply:

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

    Once completed, return the form to:

    Health and Safety Benefit Section
    Address: Department of Social Protection,
    Co. Donegal,
    F93 CH79

    Email: HandSBenefit@welfare.ie
    Phone number: 01 4715898 or 0818 690690

    Health and Safety Benefit (HSB1)