Frequently asked questions

You are entitled to up to five days of family illness leave during the school year when, due to illness or injury, your presence is required with a family member. This may include accompanying a family member to hospital appointments. You have five days for an immediate family member, or up to three days for a near relative.

If you have longer term caring responsibilities, carer’s leave may be available for up two years. Further advice on carer’s leave the associated benefit may be found here on the INTO website.

No, this should not be required.

Your employer may confirm for whom you are taking the leave (to confirm that you are eligible).

You can take bereavement leave for up to five days for the death of an immediate family member, or up to three days for a near relative.

Bereavement leave will commence on the day of the death, unless the death occurs after school hours or on a weekend, in which case it starts the following day.

Bereavement leave is consecutive calendar days, from the date of death, inclusive.

Schools are not required to retain evidence of the date of the death, or of the teachers’ relationship to the deceased.

Bereavement leave is substitutable, with the exception of a first cousin, for whom only one day of leave is substitutable.

If you have a miscarriage before the end of your twenty-fourth week of pregnancy, the ordinary terms of the sick leave scheme will apply.

If you were more than 24 weeks pregnant; if your baby had a birth weight of at least 500 grammes; or if your baby was born alive, you will be entitled to your full maternity leave, including unpaid maternity leave.

You can use sick leave for the purpose of “obtaining medical-related services (eg Doctor/Dentist), provided such appointments could not have been arranged outside of regular working hours or working days.”

Evidence of your appointments should be provided to your school to support your absence, and this can be recorded as certified sick leave on the OLCS.

The DE does not make any provision for partial absence during the school day.

Some schools may facilitate teachers who need to be absent for an hour or two, but this is not an entitlement in your terms and conditions and a partial absence cannot be formally recorded.

Unfortunately, there is no specific provision to take leave for fertility treatment or other reproductive health issues.

Sick leave may be taken for the purpose of “obtaining medical-related services (eg Doctor/Dentist), provided such appointments could not have been arranged outside of regular working hours or working days.” This would include appointments for fertility treatment.

Evidence of your appointments should be provided to your school to support your absence, and this leave can be recorded as certified sick leave on the OLCS.

You can take up to seven consecutive days from the date of your wedding, inclusive (eg for a wedding on a Saturday, wedding leave is from Saturday to Friday inclusive. For a wedding on a Friday, wedding leave will be from Friday to the following Thursday.

There is no substitute cover for this absence.

No.

If your wedding takes place during a school closure, leave cannot be carried forward to when the school reopens.

However, if you are getting married on, for example, a bank holiday weekend, you will be able to take leave for any days the school is open from the date of your wedding, inclusive. (eg if you are getting married on the Saturday of the May bank holiday weekend; your wedding leave would be from Saturday to Friday inclusive. As the school will only be open from Tuesday, you will be on leave for four school days.)

There is no substitute cover for wedding leave.

Yes.
You can take one day’s leave, without substitute cover, for a family members’ wedding, when the wedding takes place on a school day.
No, to attend the wedding of someone outside your family, you will need to request an EPV day or unpaid leave day.
Up to five days of paid study leave may be taken prior to examinations.

Your employer is required to retain evidence of the exams for which the study leave was granted.

Up to five days of paid leave may be taken on the days the exams take place. You must provide evidence of the exams, which should be retained by your school.

Study leave and exam leave are granted at the discretion of your employer, and there is no substitute cover available.

Within the terms of circular 32/2007 (PDF), study leave is only available prior to exams, and your employer must retain evidence of those exams.

Many third level courses no longer use exams for assessment, and – anecdotally – some schools do to grant study leave for other purposes, but this is a matter for the employer and falls outside the terms of the circular.

If study leave is not approved by your employer – or you need additional days – you may request up to ten days of unpaid leave in a school year. See Chapter 11, circular 54/2019 (PDF) for details and the relevant application form.

Yes, one day of paid leave is available, without substitute cover.
Yes, you can take one day of paid leave to attend the graduation, ordination, profession, religious reception, Garda passing out, or commissioning of an immediate family member.

For this leave, an immediate family member would include your spouse or partner, parents and stepparents, children and stepchildren, and siblings.

Yes, you can take one day of paid leave to attend the graduation, ordination, profession, religious reception, Garda passing out, or commissioning of an immediate family member.

For this leave, an immediate family member would include your spouse or partner, parents and stepparents, children and step-children, and siblings.

There is no provision for a teacher to attend the Confirmation of a family member, including the teachers’ own child.

An EPV day or unpaid leave may be requested.

Unused EPV days earned in summer 2020 or 2021 may be taken in the 2022/23 school year, subject to a maximum of five available EPV days for any teacher.

Ordinarily, it is not possible to carry forward EPV days from one year to the next. However, because classes could not be split for supervision during the pandemic, the DE made an exception during 2020/21 and 2021/22, and allowed unused EPV days to be carried forward to the following year.

The provision to carry forward any accumulated untaken EPV days into future school years will cease at the end of this school year.

Paid leave may be sanctioned for a teacher who is representing Ireland at an international sporting event. The sport in question must have a national governing body recognised by the Sports Council of Ireland.

Evidence of your participation in the event and the number of days required must be retained by the Board and submitted to the Department of Education for approval.

This is not available as a category on the OLCS, so your school should email DE Terms and Conditions directly – teachersna@education.gov.ie – with the details and evidence of the sporting event, and the leave which will be required, and your absences can be recorded from the DE side.

There will be substitute cover for these absences if the leave is sanctioned by your Board and the DE.

You are entitled to one day of paid leave, without substitute cover.

If you need additional days, you could apply for EPV days or unpaid leave.

There is no leave provision to attend an inquest.

You may request EPV days or unpaid leave days.

No. There is no provision for leave for moving house.
Paid leave may be taken for the number of days required by the court.

The DE will not pay a substitute, but your employer may claim payment for substitute cover from the relevant party in the case.

Circular 32/2007 (PDF), and on the INTO website here.
Check Appendix A of circular 32/2007 (PDF), for the Department of Education’s definitions of “immediate family” and “near relatives,” as these may change depending on the nature of the absence involved.