New Circular on Illness Leave (Critical Illness Protocol)

The Department has issued Circular 0025/2018 (pdf), following discussions between public service employers and unions, to revise the critical illness aspects of the sick leave scheme.

The Circular includes guidelines for BOMs in respect of decisions to grant the terms of the Critical Illness Protocol (CIP) which provides additional paid sick leave in cases of serious illness or injury.

Circular 0025/2018 also contains an improvement in the terms of the CIP “protective year”. The protective year refers to how a teacher’s illness leave is treated if they have a further period of ordinary illness leave following a period under the CIP. At present, the critical illness provisions (i.e. extended sick leave) continue to apply for a twelve-month period after the start date of the granting of the original critical illness. In the revised scheme, the protective year begins if a teacher has an ordinary illness within a twelve-month period of the date of return to work following the critical illness. This will be of benefit and is fairer than the previous provision; it was sought by public service unions including INTO in the sick leave review discussions.