Substitute Teachers

Casual/Non-Casual Substitute Teachers

There are two different types of substitute teacher:

  • Casual Substitute: A casual substitute is a teacher who has worked less than 40 days in an academic year.
  • Non-Casual Substitute: To be classified as a non-casual substitute, a teacher must work 40 days at the casual rate and on the Day 41, they will move to their own personal/incremental rate and become a non-casual substitute. A teacher will also be classified as a non-casual substitute if they take up a non-casual contract e.g. a maternity/adoptive leave cover. In this case, the teacher will be paid at their own personal/incremental rate from Day 1 of their contract.


Daily Rates of Pay for Casual Substitute Teachers

Casual substitute teachers are paid a fixed rate for their first 40 days of employment in an academic year in a substitute capacity.
See below for applicable daily qualified substitute rates taken from Circular 0043/2024 (PDF) which are effective from 1 June 2024.

Pay Scale Daily rate Value of Statutory Annual Leave Accumulated per Day Worked Total Value of a day’s work as a substitute
Pre-1 January 2011 Entrants to Primary Teaching €220.86 €27.30 €248.16
Primary Teachers who entered teaching on or after 1 January 2011* €214.64 €26.53 €241.17

How to calculate a Non-Casual Substitute Teacher’s Personal Rate

When a teacher works more than 40 days in a school year or is engaged in a non-casual contract, they will be paid their own personal rate which is calculated based on their point on the incremental scale and any allowances payable.

How to calculate a substitute teacher’s personal rate:

(Point on the incremental scale + any allowance) divided by 182, with a deduction of 11% of this rate to be banked as holiday pay.



If a teacher is being paid at point 5 of the post-January 2011 scale, the calculation would be as follows:

Point 5 on the post-January 2011 scale = €48,495

Total Value of Personal Rate = €48,495/182 = €266.46

Daily Rate = €237.15

11% Holiday Pay = €29.31

In the teacher’s fortnightly pay cheque, they will see the daily rate paid. The substitute teacher will then receive their 11% holiday pay for each day worked in a lump sum payment at the end of each term.

Refer to Circular 0015/2015 (PDF) for more information regarding holiday pay.


Payment for a Non-Casual Substitute Teachers Leave of Absence

A non-casual substitute teacher is regarded as a fixed term worker for the purposes of the Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2003. As such, they are entitled to the same terms and conditions as a comparable permanent colleague, including access to leave entitlements. This entitlement comes to an end at the end of the teacher’s contract.

However, as two substitute teachers may not be paid for the same role through the OLCS, the non-casual substitute who is taking leave must be paid using the Primary Teachers Substitute for a Substitute form.

The substitute who is covering the vacancy (i.e., the teacher who is working in the school during the absence) should be paid through the OLCS.
If there is no substitute teacher employed to cover the leave, then the non-casual substitute teacher can be left on the OLCS for salary, with a manual record of their absence maintained by the school.


Avoiding breaks in service

If you commenced your service prior to 1 January 2013, it is in your interest to avoid ever having a break in your service of twenty-six weeks or longer. If a teacher is out of service for a period of twenty-six weeks or longer, when they return it will be as a member of the Single Pension Scheme, which was introduced across the public sector for new entrants from 1 January 2013.

For teachers who are on the pre 2013 pension scheme who are considering living and working abroad, or planning to take up private employment temporarily, it is advisable to maintain your Teaching Council Registration, and arrange to do at least one day of substitute work, paid by the Department of Education, at least every twenty-five weeks.

Approved leaves of absence while in employment (such as career breaks, paid or unpaid sick leave, or statutory maternity leave) will not affect a teachers’ pension conditions.

Entrants after 1 January 2013, or those who have already had a break in service since that date, would – following a break of 26 weeks or longer – also return to service on the pension which is in place at the time they return. (So at present, members of the Single Scheme will return to the same scheme following a break in service.)

Still have questions?

Submit your query by email to INTO. Please include your payroll or membership number.