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Leave

Adoptive Leave

At present, twenty four consecutive weeks of paid Adoptive Leave is allowed to adopting mothers and to sole male adopters.

Adoptive Leave may be followed by up to sixteen consecutive weeks of unpaid additional adoptive leave.

Officers appointed on or after 6 April 1995 when absent on adoptive leave, are required to make the necessary claims for adoptive benefit to the Department of Social and Family Affairs within the required time limits and to comply with whatever requirements are laid down by that Department as a condition of claiming benefit.

Full details of the Department of Social and Family Affairs requirements and conditions for making claims are made available at the time of appointment (Circular 6/95 Revised social insurance status and conditions of service of certain civil servants).

Please consult the Personnel Section regarding time off to attend certain pre-adoption classes and meetings, or possible flexitime adjustments in the context of arranging foreign adoptions.

The period of paid adoptive leave counts as service in all respects. The period of unpaid additional adoptive leave counts as service for promotion, increment, and public holidays but not for remuneration and superannuation purposes.

Adoptive Leave

Adoptive Leave

Adoptive Leave Circular 02/1997

Extension of Maternity and Adoptive Leave Circular 09/2001

Adoptive Leave Act Circular 0030/2006

Adoptive Leave Act 2005

Annual Leave

The Organisation of Working Time Act gives all full time employees a statutory minimum of four working weeks Annual Leave.

Annual Leave allowances in the civil service are covered by Circular 27 of 2003 Annual Leave (amended by Circular 06 of 2011 Annual Leave and Privilege Days which followed the abolition of Privilege Days and increased Annual Leave allowances by two days) which lays out the leave allowances for grades in the civil service.

Annual Leave Circular 0027/2003

Annual Leave and Privilege Days Circular 0006/2011

These allowances also include leave in excess of the statutory minimum.

This Letter to Personnel Officers, dated 18th January 2012, sets out revised Annual Leave Arrangements

Here are letters to Personnel Officers on the Annual Leave Increases for EO and CO and Grade Analagous to CO and EO

Here is a letter to Personnel Officers dated 17 November 2006 clarifying the issue of Carry Over of Annual Leave and

Annual Leave and Sick Leave

Carers Leave

Carer’s Leave, which is a statutory entitlement (Carer’s Leave Act 2001), allows staff to take temporary unpaid leave to enable them personally to provide full-time care and attention for a person who is in need of such care.

The maximum entitlement to Carer’s Leave is two years or one hundred and four weeks.

Carer’s Leave may be taken as one continuous period of one hundred and four weeks or, within certain limits, as one or more periods amounting to not more than one hundred and four weeks.

A civil servant who wishes to avail of Carer’s Leave must have completed at least twelve months continuous service in the Civil Service (there is no hours threshold).

A civil servant on Carer’s Leave will be treated as if he or she had not been absent from his or her employment so that all his or her employment rights, except the right to remuneration, annual leave, public holidays in excess of the initial period of thirteen weeks of Carer’s Leave, and superannuation benefits, will be unaffected during the leave.

Carers Leave Circular 0039/2005

Force Majeure Leave

Force Majeure Leave (i.e. paid ‘emergency’ leave)

Circular 05/2010  Force Majeure and other Urgent Family Reasons Leave, Circular 22/98 Parental Leave explains the entitlement to force majeureleave, which like Parental Leave, is provided for in the Parental Leave Act 1998 and the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006.

Force Majeure leave means that all employees have a limited right to paid time off (three days in any period of twelve consecutive months and five days in any period of thirty six consecutive months) for urgent family reasons owing to accident/illness of an immediate relative, or of a person “in a relationship of domestic dependency” with the employee.

In order to be able to avail of force majeure leave, the event giving rise to it must be urgent, and the employee’s immediatepresence with the ill or injured person must be indispensable.

Force Majeure Leave

FAQ's on the subject of Force Majeure Leave

Force Majeure Leave

Force Majeure and other urgent family reasons leave Circular 0005/2010

Maternity Leave

At present, maternity leave consists of twenty six weeks paid leave with an option to avail of sixteen weeks unpaid additional maternity leave.

In general, a minimum of two weeks maternity leave must be taken before the date of confinement and at least four weeks after the date of confinement.

Officers appointed on or after 6 April 1995 when absent on paid maternity leave, are required to make the necessary claims for maternity benefit to the Department of Social and Family Affairs within the required time limits and to comply with whatever requirements are laid down by that Department as a condition of claiming benefit.

Full details of the Department of Social and Family Affairs requirements and conditions for making claims are made available at the time of appointment (Circular 6/95 Revised social insurance status and conditions of service of certain civil servants).

The period of paid maternity leave counts as service in all respects. The period of unpaid additional maternity leave counts as service for promotion, increment, and public holidays but not for remuneration and superannuation purposes.

Please refer to Paragraph 4 of Circular 35 of 1995 Maternity Leave “Pregnant staff are entitled to such paid time off from duty as is necessary for attendance at ante-natal and post-natal clinics“.

Maternity Leave Circular 0035/1995

A pregnant employee is entitled to paid time off from duty as is necessary for attendance at ante-natal classes. Expectant fathers shall be entitled once only to time off from work, without loss of pay, for the purpose of attending the last two ante-natal classes attended by the expectant mother before the birth of the child.

Evidence of appointment or attendance at the clinic will be required.

Breastfeeding mothers are entitled to paid breaks from work (one hour per day), or reduced daily working time (one hour per day) to facilitate breastfeeding or lactation (Circular 31/06 Implementation of the Regulations of the Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004).

At present, breastfeeding or lactation breaks may continue until the child is two years of age.

Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave Circular 0035/1995

Extension of Maternity and Adoptive Leave Circular 0009/2001

Implementation of the Regulations of the Maternity Protection Amendment Act 2004 Circular 0031/2006

Maternity Leave to cover premature births in the Civil Service Circular 0010/2019

Guidance Handbook

Parental Leave

Circular 20/2008 – Parental leave in the Civil Service provides a summary of the main provisions of the Parental Leave Acts and is the authoritative guidance on all aspects of the parental leave scheme as it applies in the Civil Service.

Parental leave in the Civil Service Circular 0020/2008

Parental Leave is a statutory entitlement, under Parental Leave Act 1998 and the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006, which allows the parent of a child, born or adopted, to take unpaid leave for 18 working weeks for the purpose of caring for his/her child.

Parental Leave must be taken before the child is thirteen years of age (sixteen in the case of a child with a disability or a long term illness).

Those who are in loco parentis may also be entitled to avail of Parental Leave. Parental Leave is available to Civil Service staff who have one year’s continuous service, but it will also be allowed, on a reduced basis, to staff who have more than three months but less than twelve months continuous service.

Parental Leave may be taken as one continuous period of 18 weeks, or as shorter periods together amounting to 18 weeks.

This entitlement is reduced pro-rata in cases where the parent is availing of worksharing arrangements. 14 weeks of the 18 weeks Parental Leave entitlements may be transferred from one parent to another if both parents are employed by the same employer (the Civil Service is deemed a single employer for this purpose), subject to the employer’s agreement.

An officer who falls ill while on parental leave and as a result is unable to care for the child, e.g. hospitalisation, may suspend the parental leave for the duration of the illness following which period the parental leave recommences.

While the Parental Leave Act does not confer an entitlement to remuneration and superannuation benefits, an officer on parental leave is deemed to be in employment.

The absence will therefore count as service for promotion, increment and annual leave.

Circular 13/2010 amended the upper limit of the age of the child in respect of whom employees may take parental leave from 8 to 13 years on an administrative basis.

Circular 0013/2010

Letter to HR Managers dated 20 March 2013 describes changes in parental leave in line with SI 81 of 2013 which increases parental leave from 14 working weeks to 18 working weeks.

Letter to HR Managers

Four weeks are non-transferable between qualifying parents where both parents are employed in the Civil Service.

Letter to HR Managers dated 1 August 2014 amends the method of calculating parental leave for work sharers and replaces Example 2 in the Annex to Circular 20/2008

Letter to HR Managers - Parental Leave

A Letter to Personnel Officers dated 26 July 2019 increases the amount of parental leave from

  • 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1 September, 2019 and from
  • 22 to 26 weeks from 1 September, 2020.

FAQs on Parental Leave

A letter to Personnel Officer dated 18th January 2012 setting out revised Annual Leave Arrangements

Letter to Personnel Officers

Sick Leave

The Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Act 2013 was enacted in December 2013 and provides the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform with the power to make regulations that will set out specific details of the new Sick Leave Scheme for the Public Service.

The details of this Scheme are set out in Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations (SI 124 of 2014) and Public Service Management (Sick Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 SI 384 of 2015. A Guide to the Regulations is available and must be read in conjunction with the Regulations.

SI 384 of 2015

Guide to the Regulations

Civil Service Sick Leave Statistics

Following a review of the approach to the monitoring of sick leave across the public sector, it has been decided that the future reporting of sick leave for the Public Service should now be the focus of each individual sector who are best placed to respond to their own workplace absence levels.  In that context from 2019 civil service sick leave statistics will be shown on this website.

Civil Service Sick Leave Statistics 2019

Civil Service Rates of Sick Leave 2019

Public Service Sick Leave Statistics

The Public Service Sick Leave Statistics for 2018  show the rate of sick leave is  4.2% and on average 9.2 working days were taken per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) in the Public Service.

Public Sick Leave Statistics 2018

The overall cost of sick leave in the Public Service is estimated at €381.5million for 2018 which represents a cumulative saving of €156.4 million since 2013.

Detailed Statistics and Trends for 2018 show sick leave rates since the introduction of the Public Service Sick Leave Scheme which came into effect in the majority of sectors on 31st March 2014 and the Education Sector on 1st  September 2014.

Please see also Public Service Sick Leave Statistics for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Statistics and Trends 2018

Statistics and Trends 2017

Statistics and Trends 2016

Statistics and Trends 2015

Statistics and Trends 2014

Statistics and Trends 2013

Rates of sick leave for the Civil Service broken down by organisation are also available for  2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Rates of Sick Leave 2018

Rates of Sick Leave 2017

Rates of Sick Leave 2016

Rates of Sick Leave 2015

Rates of Sick Leave 2014

Rates of Sick Leave 2013

Review of Sick Leave Scheme

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform carried out a comprehensive review of the operation of the Scheme and this was completed in July 2016 and made 17 recommendations for change.

Consultations in relation to the recommendations for change between DPER and the Public Sector Unions and Associations took place from September 2016 to Jun 2018.

Recommendations of the Review, other than those that went before the Labour Court in November 2018, have been agreed to by the Public Sector Unions and Associations and some have already been implemented.

The matters before the Court were elements of the Sick Leave Scheme that were not standardised in 2014 when the Scheme was first introduced.

The outcome on the standardisation of these elements of the Scheme was the subject of a Labour Court ruling in November 2018 and these are in the process of being implemented across the Public Service.

Sick Leave in the Civil Service

The administrative arrangements for the Civil Service are set out in Circular 05 of 2018 and must be read in conjunction with the Regulations.

Arrangements for Paid Sick Leave Circular 0005/2018

Paid Sick Leave

The new scheme provides for the payment of the following to staff during periods of absence from work due to illness or injury:

  • A maximum of 92 days on full pay in a rolling one year period
  • Followed by a maximum of 91 days on half pay in a rolling one year period
  • Subject to a maximum of 183 days paid sick leave in a rolling four year period

Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration

Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration (TRR) was formerly referred to as Pension Rate of Pay (PRP) and will be calculated and awarded in the same way.

It will only be payable when there is a realistic prospect of an individual returning to work. The key change in the move from PRP to TRP is that the maximum period for which TRR can be paid is 547 days under ordinary sick leave arrangements.

Critical Illness Provisions (CIP)

In recognition of the fact that, sometimes, a longer period of sick leave can be required to address a critical illness or serious physical injury, there is provision for the following to apply in exceptional circumstances:

  • A maximum of 183 days on full pay in a rolling one year period
  • Followed by a maximum of 182 days on half pay in a rolling one year period
  • Subject to a maximum of 365 days paid sick leave in a rolling four year period

There will be access to TRR under the CIP as follows:

  • 365 days on TRR
  • a further period not exceeding 730 days may be granted in cases where the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has confirmed that there is a reasonable prospect of return to work. Such cases must be directly linked to the critical illness and will normally follow a continuous period of long term sick leave. This is subject to six monthly reviews.

Granting of Critical Illness Provisions

The decision to grant extended paid sick leave for a critical illness, injury or condition is made by the HR Manager in the Department/Office and is based on medical advice from the CMO and all the circumstances of the case.

The Critical Illness Protocol (CIP) sets out the criteria which must be met in order to be granted access to critical illness provisions.

Critical Illness Protocol

The CIP has been revised with effect from the 31st of March 2018. There have been changes made to the medical criteria as set out below.

The Occupational Physician, (the Chief Medical Officer), will advise whether, in their opinion, the following criteria are met:

  • The employee is medically unfit to return to his or her current duties or (where practicable) modified duties in the same pay grade
  • The nature of this medical condition has at least one of the following characteristics:
  • Acute life threatening physical illness
  • Chronic progressive illness, with well-established potential to reduce life expectancy
  • Major physical trauma ordinarily requiring corrective acute operative surgical treatment
  • In-patient or day hospital care of ten consecutive days or greater.

Civil servants who wish to apply for CIP must fill out a CIP Application Form and submit it to their HR Manager.

CIP Application Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Arrangements for Paid Sick Leave Circular 0005/2018

Guide to the Regulations

CIP Appeal Form

Pregnancy Related Sick Leave Flyer

Annual Leave and Sick Leave Letter

Special and other leave

Special Leave is granted in certain circumstances, subject to the work requirements of the Civil Service:

Up to five days paid leave on marriage provided the total of marriage leave and annual leave does not exceed twenty seven days (General Council Report 1534 refers, Appendix 1 of Circular).

Special Leave with pay on Marriage Circular 0006/2016

FAQs on the subject of Marriage Leave - missing document

Special leave at time of bereavement Circular 0001/2017

Special leave at time of bereavement Circular 01/2017

Twenty working days paid leave in the case of the death of a spouse (including a cohabiting partner), child (including adopted children and children being cared for on the basis of ‘in loco parentis’) or any person in a relationship of domestic dependency;

Five working days paid leave in the case of the death of another immediate relative [for the purposes of bereavement leave “immediate relative” means father, step-father, mother, step-mother, brother, step-brother, half-brother, brother-in-law, sister, step-sister, half-sister, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandfather, grandmother or grandchild of an officer];

One working day in the case of the death of an uncle, aunt, niece or nephew.

Bereavement Leave

Study and examination leave:

Ten days paid study leave in respect of the final year only of a third level primary or masters degree;  five days paid study leave for the other years of a third level course;  paid leave for time necessarily spent at examinations

Post Entry Education Study Leave and Examination Leave Circular 0023/2007

Leave for civic purposes:

A number of days paid leave per year are allowed for instruction in Civil Defence , training with the Reserve Defence Force, training or call out with Voluntary Search and Rescue Organisations.

Special Leave for Instruction in Civil Defence Circular 0022/1962

Leave for attendance at training with the Reserve Defence Forces Circular 0051/1979

Search Rescue Circular 0015/2002

This covers (1). Leave for attendance at training courses with Voluntary Search and Rescue Organisations and (2).  Leave for call out to an emergency search and rescue), acting as a staff representative

Facilities for non full-time representatives of staff associations and unions is covered in Circular 14 of 1980

Sporting Events:

Letter Special Leave for Sporting Purposes

Leave for domestic reasons:

Up to six months unpaid leave to deal with difficulties arising from the death or serious illness of an immediate relative and up to two months unpaid leave to deal with other urgent domestic affairs.

Force Majeure and other urgent family reasons leave Circular 0005/2010

Leave to work with the EU or an international organisation:

Up to ten years unpaid leave to serve with the EU and up to five years unpaid leave to serve with an international organisation of which Ireland is a member.

Special Leave for appointment with international organisations Circular 0033/1991

Leave for charitable and humanitarian work:

Up to one year unpaid leave for charitable or cultural work in Ireland, and up to five years for humanitarian emergencies and development work overseas.

Special Leave Circular 0002/1976

Letter to Personnel Officers

Jury Service/Court Appearance:

It should be noted that if an officer is not selected for jury service, she/he is not entitled to time off with full pay.

Accordingly, an officer should return to work in the afternoon, s/he is not covered by the terms of Circular 11 of 1977 Jury Service.

Jury Service Circular 0011/1977

Arrangements where civil servants are required to attend in Court as witnesses are covered in Circular 31 of 2007 – Attendance of Civil Servants in Court as Witnesses

Attendance of Civil Servants in Court as Witnesses Circular 0031/2007

Special leave without pay may be given in certain other circumstances at the discretion of the Head of Department/Office; however it should be noted that unpaid leave will not reckon for superannuation purposes.

An officer considering applying for special leave should consult the Personnel Section.