– Call Citizens Information to find out what support is there for you –

International Women’s Day is being celebrated all around the world on the 8th of March and this year’s theme is ‘Choose to Challenge’.

Each year this important day globally celebrates the achievements of women and also marks a call to action for greater gender parity.

The importance of this day and what it represents, is a great opportunity to highlight some of the information, advice and support Citizens Information can provide to women and their families.

Some of the most common queries they are receiving from women and their families right now are:


Maternity Benefit (MB) is based on your social welfare insurance contributions from employment (stamps). All time spent on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (CPUP) and the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) will be treated as if you are continuing to make insurance contributions at your normal social insurance class.

This means that anyone getting CPUP or TWSS within 16 weeks of the expected due date, will qualify for Maternity Benefit, if they have enough social insurance contributions.

If you are due to go on maternity leave and you are getting CPUP, you should apply for Maternity Benefit and then close your CPUP claim. If you are currently on maternity leave and you are due to return to work, but your workplace is closed and you are not being paid by your employer, you can claim CPUP when your maternity leave ends.

Many enquire about other leave options for parents which may be available from their employment such as Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, Parents leave and Adoptive Leave. Each of these types of leave may also carry a possible social welfare entitlement by way of a paid benefit if certain PRSI requirements are met.

There are a number of other schemes and benefits worth considering such as the Homemaker’s Scheme, the Home Carer Tax Credit, the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit, Supports for Carers, One Parent Family Payment, Working Family Payment, Back to Education Grant, Starting your own Business and much more.

Please call your local Citizens Information Centre for more information and to check eligibility or log onto citizensinformation.ie

Speaking about International Women’s Day, Ciara O’Gorman, North and East Cork’s Citizens Information Manager said: “International Women’s Day has been celebrated around the world for over 100 years. It’s an amazing way of identifying, celebrating and increasing visibility of women's achievements as well as raising awareness of the need for gender parity.

“Our goal for this day is to let every woman and family know that we are here to advise and support them. So regardless of your query, call your local centre and we will guide you in the right direction, for you.”

For anyone needing information, advice or who has an advocacy issue you can call a local centre in North Cork, phone Fermoy: Monday and Tuesday from 9am-5pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm on 0761 07 7970; phone Mallow: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9am-5pm and Tuesday from 9am-12.30pm on 0761 07 8000.

Emails are: fermoy@citinfo.ie and mallow@citinfo.ie