Fathers will be entitled to paid paternity leave from September under a bill to be introduced in the Dáil this week.

Under the bill, fathers will be entitled to two weeks' paid leave, within six months of the birth of a child.

The rate will be €230 per week for all new fathers including the self-employed and and employers may top up this rate.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said paid paternity leave was well overdue.  

Ireland has lagged behind most other European countries in the area of paternity leave.

The Family Leave Bill, which is expected to be in place from this autumn, will help redress the balance.

Mr Varadkar also confirmed the scrapping of the current €20 charge for registering a still birth.

The bill will be introduced to the Dáil this week.