19th May 2022
The Department of Education has today published Circular 0033/2022, which advises that the Employee Assistance Scheme, which had been available on a temporary basis to all school staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, will now be made available permanently from the 2022/23 school year.
The INTO welcomes this important development, which the union had sought as part of our work to ensure that our members’ wellbeing is protected by the Department, who ultimately have a duty of care to everyone employed in our schools. The circular further advises that short-term counselling is available to employees and their family members. The union is firmly of the view that the number of counselling sessions that a teacher can avail of should not be limited and is calling for greater flexibility particularly where there are exceptional and extenuating circumstances.
The Department of Education has also published Information Note 0004/2022, outlining paternity leave for teachers.
This information note advises employers that due to legislative changes the Paternity Leave Scheme for teachers, contained in Circular 0054/2019 (Chapter 4) is being amended to include the following information:
‘In the event of a stillbirth, or miscarriage, any time after the 24th week of pregnancy, or where the child has a birth weight of at least 500 grammes, full Paternity Leave entitlements apply.’