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Brief Absences ROI

The term 'brief absences' is used to describe short-term occasional absences sanctioned for teachers during the school year. These include compassionate leave in respect of illness and bereavement, leave for specified special family occasions and other specified provisions. See Circular 32/07.

Please Note: There have been a number of amendments to this Circular since 2007, such as the removal of substitute cover for self-certified sick leave and the first day of Family Illness Leave. Two exceptions apply: 1) Substitute cover will be provided for the first day of an absence of a teacher on self-certified sick leave or the first day of Family Illness Leave in schools with two or less classroom teachers. 2) In the event that two or more teachers in a school are absent from teaching duty on either self-certified sick leave or the first day of Family Illness Leave, substitute cover is provided for the second and subsequent teachers that are absent. (for more information on the appointment of substitute teachers, please see the Staffing Section).

Table of Absences

  • Section 1 relates to absences which allow for the employment of a substitute teacher to cover teacher absences such as Sick leave, Family leave, Personal leave & School Business Related Absence.
  • Section 2 relates to absences which allow for the employment of a temporary/fixed term teacher to cover teacher absences on Career Break, Carers Leave, Secondment,  & APSO (Agency for Personal Service Overseas) Leave.
  • Section 3 relates to paid leave absences for which no substitute (casual/non-casual) or temporary/fixed term cover is paid by the Department.

 

Section 1

 Teacher absences for which a Substitute teacher may be employed by the Board of Management

and be paid by the Department of Education & Skills

Nature of absence

No of days including maximum, if applicable, for which substitute teacher will be paid

SICK LEAVE

 

Certified Sick Leave – allowed maximum 183 days certified and uncertified sick leave over four years service in respect of an "ordinary illness". Allowed maximum of 365 days certified and uncertified sick leave over 4 years service in respect of “critical illness”.

Maximum of 365 days

 

FAMILY LEAVE Poster available here       family leave‌    

 

Maternity Leave

 

Ante Natal Visits  - evidence of appointment required by BOM

All days

Ante Natal ClassesA female teacher is allowed absence to attend one set of ante natal classes except the last 3 in a set.  A male teacher is allowed absence to attend the last two ante natal classes once only. Evidence of attendance required by BOM

No of days applicable

Maternity Leave

Maximum of 26 weeks

Unpaid Statutory Maternity Leave        - this leave follows immediately on from statutory paid maternity leave in lieu

Maximum of 16 consecutive weeks

Adoptive Leave

 

Adoptive Meetings – Allowed time off to attend pre-adoption meetings/classes with social workers/health board officials.  Evidence of appointment required by BOM

No of days required

Adoptive Leave

Maximum of 24 weeks

Unpaid Statutory Adoptive Leave  Allowed maximum of 16 consecutive weeks

Maximum 16 weeks

Additional (Extended) Unpaid Adoptive Leave  -  Allowed  immediately following the statutory unpaid adoptive leave & may be taken until the end of the school year (i.e. 31st August)

No of days absence

Resumed (Postponed ) Paid Adoptive Leave – As outlined in Primary Circular 0018/2013

Maximum of 24 weeks

Resumed (Postponed) Unpaid Adoptive Leave

 

Maximum of 16 weeks

Paternity Leave

 

Paternity Leave  - This is paid leave applicable to fathers only

Maximum of 3 school days within 31 days of the birth/placement of the child

Parental Leave

 

Parental Leave – Unpaid leave allowed maximum 18 weeks per child

Maximum of 18 weeks per child

Leave for Illness/Bereavement

 

Leave in respect of tending to an  immediate family member who is ill including accompaniment to hospital As outlined in Appendix A. Please note that the maximum period of leave as outlined includes a teacher’s entitlement to Force Majeure leave.

Maximum of 5 school days in a school year with the exception of the first day of any such absence.

 

Leave in respect of tending to a near relative/member of religious community who is ill including accompaniment to hospital  – As outlined in Appendix A. Please note that the maximum period of leave as outlined includes a teacher’s entitlement to Force Majeure leave.

Maximum of 3 school days in a school year with the exception of the first day of any such absence.

 

Bereavement of member of immediate family – Allowed 5 consecutive days including a weekend                                – As outlined in Appendix A

Five consecutive days including a weekend

Bereavement of  near Relative/In-law/ member of religious community – Allowed minimum necessary period subject to maximum of 3 consecutive days including a weekend - As outlined in Appendix A 

 

Minimum period necessary subject to a maximum of  3 consecutive days including a weekend


PERSONAL LEAVE

 

Unpaid Leave of Absence – Application must be approved by BOM six weeks in advance of absence

10 days max.

See DES 35/2010

Assault Leave (Paid Leave) - Application with Board of Management approval to be made directly to the Department of Education and Skills. Documentary evidence must be supplied 

Number of days approved 

Health & Safety Leave – paid leave

Application with Board of Management approval to be made directly to the Department of Education and Skills. Documentary evidence must be supplied

Number of days approved 

Retirement Seminar – paid leave: Prior approval of Board of Management and evidence of attendance is required

1 day

Member of Teaching Council of Ireland – paid leave – Allowed leave to attend meetings held on school days

Maximum of 10 school days per year

Career Break – Paid Leave in Lieu of Public Holidays: Allowed for public holidays which fall within the first 13 weeks following commencement of a career break for the first time

 1 day allowed

See DES Circular 123/06

Carers Paid Leave in Lieu of Public Holidays: Allowed for public holidays which fall within the first 13 weeks following commencement of carers leave

 Number of days applicable

 

Leave in Lieu of Public Holidays for Job Sharing Teachers - Allowed paid leave in lieu for 17 March, 1st Monday in May, 1st Monday in June for job-sharing teacher who is not timetabled to work on these days.

Max allowed 3 days.

See DES Circular 123/06

Representing Ireland at International Sporting Event – Paid leave, documentary evidence of the participation in the international sporting event and the number of days required must be submitted to the Department of Education and Skills with the Board of Management approval

Number of days approved

Membership of State Bodies -e.g. National Council for Special Education, State Exams Commission -Absence applies only where meetings are held during school opening hours 

Up to 10 school days in a school year.  

Candidate in a General Election  -Unpaid leave for all days from the date of the candidate’s lodgement of his/her nomination papers up to and including the day(s) of the count

No of days applicable

Attending court where a teacher is the defendant or plaintiff in a personal case

Unpaid Leave

 The number of days deemed necessary by the Court

Jury Service - Paid Leave

 

The number of days deemed necessary by the Court.

SCHOOL BUSINESS

 

Principal Release - Paid leave to allow Principals to undertake administrative duties

Minimum of 14 days – maximum 22 days subject to number of mainstream posts in the school. See table below.

P + 1 - 2 Teachers  14 days
P + 3 - 4 Teachers  18 days
P + 5 - 6 Teachers  22 days

Court Attendance – Attending legal proceedings on behalf of the school

 

The number of days  deemed necessary by the court

In-Service/In-Career Development - Attendance must be approved by Department and Board of Management.  Evidence of attendance required.  

 Number of days approved

In Service/In Career Development in Lieu –Leave in lieu allowed in respect of in- service/in-career development days attended during maternity leave, adoptive leave and parental leave

Number of days applicable

Examiner for State Examinations - Paid leave with prior approval of Board of Management.  Documentary evidence required

 

Number of days approved

Suspension by Board/Administration Leave – paid leave application to be made directly to Department by Board of Management

Number of days applicable

One Teacher Schools - All brief absences approved by the  Board of Management are allowed for substitute cover

Number of days required

Union Executive Committee – Paid leave  prior approval of Board of Management and documentary evidence required

Maximum of 2 days per month.

Section 2

Teacher absence (all unpaid leave of absence) for which a Temporary/Fixed Term Teacher may be employed by the Board of Management and paid by the Department of Education and Skills

Nature of absence

 

Period for which temporary/fixed term teacher will be paid

Career Break DES Circular 10/2011

Overall maximum of 10 years

Carers Leave DES Circular 05/2003

Maximum of 104 weeks unpaid

ABSENCE TO OTHER AGENCIES

 

Secondment  - Maximum of 5 years to outside agencies, 9 years to European Schools & 10 years to Department National Approved Programmes

Maximum 5, 9 or 10 years depending on agency to which teacher has been seconded

Section 3

 

The following sets out teachers’ entitlement to absence for which Substitute Cover is not paid by the Department of Education and Skills for the following absences

SELF-CERTIFIED SICK LEAVE

 

Seven days allowed in a two year rolling period, subject to a maximum of 3 consecutive days per absence.

FAMILY LEAVE ABSENCE (Paid leave)

Wedding of immediate family/near relative/in-law - allowed1 school day if the wedding is held on a day when the school is open. Please refer to No 2.1(a) of Appendix A for definition of immediate family/near relative (same as for bereavement leave)

Ordination/profession/religious reception/ garda passing out/ commissioning/ Graduation of *immediate family - allowed1 school day if the ordination/religious reception/profession is held on a day when the school is open. Please refer to No 2.1(a) of Appendix A for definition of immediate family/near relative (same as for bereavement leave)

PERSONAL LEAVE ABSENCE (Paid leave)

Study Leave prior to Examinations  -  allowed 5 days in respect of recognised third level educational courses. Verification in respect of the exam must be submitted to the Board of Management

Exam Leave  - allowed the actual days on which examinations are held, provided it is a recognised third level educational course.  Verification in respect of the exam and the number of days necessary must be submitted to the Board of Management

Teachers’ own wedding – this applies only when the wedding takes place on a day when the school is due to be open allowed 7 consecutive days from the date of marriage. These days  include weekends and any school  closure e.g. bank holiday, vacation days etc

Graduation of teacher - 1 school day if the graduation is held on a day when the school is open.

Extra Personal Vacation(EPV)  - Allowed a maximum of 5 EPV days per school year in lieu of attendance at approved summer course - DES Circular 37/97 (Currently unavailable from DES website)

Membership of public bodies e.g. county councils or statutory local bodies – allowed up to ten school days in a school year. Absence applies only where meetings are held during school opening hours

Candidate in a Local Election -  allowed1 day on day of election

Legal Separation Proceedings – allowed 1 school day  provided the proceedings take place on a day when the school is open

Witness in Court (under subpoena or summons)allowed the number of days required to be in attendance under subpoena or summons (The Board of Management/teacher may claim payment for substitute cover from the relevant party).