INTO welcomes decision to extend bereavement leave

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) welcomes the decision taken today to extend bereavement leave in the education sector, aligning this hugely important provision with the wider public service.

The union will update members with more information as and when it becomes available.

Since 2017, and following a resolution passed at Congress that year, the INTO has been pursuing this objective through our industrial relations mechanisms.

This resolution was reiterated at INTO Congress this year. Members noted that teachers’ bereavement leave entitlements are vastly inferior to other public service workers, and supported a resolution demanding that longer bereavement leave for teachers be fully substitutable.

Civil servants and other public service workers can take up to 20 days of bereavement leave on the death of a spouse or child, which properly reflects the time needed to grieve.

Reacting to the announcement, INTO Deputy General Secretary Deirdre O’Connor said:

We welcome the announcement that the Department of Education will extend equal access to bereavement leave to the education sector. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience for anyone. This announcement will remedy a glaring imbalance between teachers and other public service workers.

At Congress earlier this year, members bravely shared their experiences, with far too many finding themselves back in a classroom before they were ready, due to the unavailability of this very necessary compassionate leave. We look forward to engaging with the department to implement this as soon as possible.”