Contract of Indefinite Duration

The Department of Education (DE) issued a new staffing circular on 6 February 2024 outlining the terms under which Contracts of Indefinite duration are issued (relevant links are at the bottom of this page).

Members will note that 29 February 2024 is a key date for the return of documentation pertaining to the Staffing Circular to the DE for the 23/24 school year. Please note: CID applications can be made at any stage subject to meeting the eligibility.

What is a Contract of Indefinite Duration (CID)?

A CID is an equivalent contract to a permanent contract with an employer, the BOM/ETB of a school.

What are the criteria for CID entitlement? – Circular 23/2015

To be eligible for CID a teacher must:

  • Have in excess of two years’ continuous service with the same employer (BOM/ETB)
  • Hold a ‘viable contract’ in year three

In the case of applying for a CID in year 3 of continuous service or beyond, a teacher must hold a viable contract in the year immediately following the year in which they are making an application.

What is considered continuous service?

Any continuous substitute, or continuous temporary service in the same school and paid for by Oireachtas funds is considered valid service.

Break in service

In the first instance, it is important to note that one or more days subbing in another school where a BOM is the employer, or a different ETB where the ETB is the employer, constitutes a break in service for the purposes of applying for a CID in the current school.

The following periods will be regarded as lay-offs rather than breaks in service and as such are regarded as continuous service:

  1. School holiday closure periods provided that the teacher was employed by the same employer immediately prior to, and immediately following, the school holiday closure
  2. Any period of up to 2 weeks at the beginning or end of the school year provided that the teacher was employed by the same employer immediately prior to and after the summer holiday
  3. Incidental days (such as unforeseen closures, polling days, EPV days).

What is a viable contract?

Viable contracts in year three for the purposes of applying for a CID are:

  • A vacant permanent post
  • A vacant SET post
  • A temporary contract which derives from:
    1. A teacher being on career break or secondment
    2. A principal release day cluster post
    3. A post on a teacher supply panel
      • Note: With reference to principal release days posts and supply panel posts, the vacant post must be attached to the same school, the base school, as the continuous employment in year one and two.
    4. A post based on Gaeltacht Recognition hours

Job-share contracts: Explained

A job-share contract is considered valid service for the criteria, ‘continuous service’. However, a job-share contract in the ‘viable’ year is not considered a viable contract. It continues to be valid continuous service in year three and beyond with the same school and is reckonable as service for any future CID application in that school. A job-share contract held in year one or two is not grounds for refusing a CID application.

Substitute/Specified Purposes contracts

This type of contract is also considered valid continuous service with the same employer (BOM/ETB) for the service criteria. However, it is not considered a viable contract in the viable year, usually year 3 of continuous service.

How do I apply for a CID?

The application form for CID is issued with the staffing circular ahead of the following school year. Please see Appendix H of DE Circular 11/2024. This is the application form CID. The teacher, in conjunction with their principal, should ensure the form is fully complete and accurate. It is advised to retain a copy of the application form prior to lodging with the DE. Applications should be posted to Primary Allocations, Department Education, Athlone, N37 X659

Will my CID be full-time or part-time?

A CID will be based on the contract held by the teacher in year two, or the year immediately prior to the viable year if after year two. This may be full-time (25 hours), or part-time (12.5 hours, if covering hours vacant as a result of one teacher job sharing, or the hours related to the SET hours allocated to the school).


Year 1: Contract covering two maternity leaves consecutively

Year 2: Contract covering 12.5 hours (half of a job share)

Year 3: Contract covering career break (viable contract)

In the above example, the CID will be for 12.5 hours as the contracted hours in year two were 12.5 hours. Where a teacher has worked fulltime in year two, the hours of the CID granted will be fulltime.

Where a teacher holds a part time CID, if the teacher subsequently completes in excess of a full year at full hours (25 hours) or additional hours with the same employer (BOM/ETB), all of which must be viable, the teacher can apply to the DE for the CID to be upgraded to fulltime or to the level of additional hours.

What is the effective date for the CID being applied for

The effective date of the CID is the date on which a teacher applying passes the threshold of two continuous years of service with the same employer (BOM/ETB); and on the same date, takes up or is in a viable post. In most cases this is 1 September of the following school year as it is usually on that date that a teacher with two years continuous service simultaneously takes up a viable contract.

Typical examples of valid and invalid applications

Note: All service in examples was in the same school

Example Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 (viable year) Valid
A Covering job share Covering career break Covering career break Yes
B Covering maternity leave September – mid-June (did not work in any other school) Covering career break Vacant permanent post Yes
C Covering career break – fulltime Covering job share Covering two maternity leaves consecutively  No
D Covering two maternity leaves consecutively Covering job share Covering job share No

Application refused?

A refusal to grant a CID by the DES is subject to appeal pursuant to Circular 30/2018. Members who wish to consider an appeal of a refusal should contact INTO Head Office for advice and information.


DE Circular 23/2015

DE Circular 30/2018


Appendix H of DE Circular 11/2024

Members with outstanding queries on the new staff circular, can log queries with the INTO Queryline on 01 804 7700 or by email through the link below.

Still have questions?

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