Is there substitute cover for …

In general, there will only be substitute cover for Family Illness Leave for the second and subsequent day when more than one day of leave is being taken consecutively.
(E.g., if a teacher is taking three days together, there will be cover for days two and three. But if three days are taken individually throughout the school year, no substitute cover will be available.)

Substitute cover for the first day of Family Illness Leave was withdrawn under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement in 2013, details here (PDF).

Please note the following exceptions:

  • Schools with two or fewer teachers can employ a substitute for family illness leave or self-certified sick leave.
  • If there are two or more teachers absent on the same day on self-certified sick leave, or the first day of family illness leave, a substitute may be employed for the second and subsequent absence.

It is permissible to provide a substitute with a combination of both leave types e.g. a teacher on Self-Certified sick leave and a teacher on Family Illness leave on the same day.

Substitute cover for self-certified sick leave was withdrawn under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement in 2013, details here.

In general, there is no substitute cover available for self-certified sick leave, with the following exceptions:

  • Schools with two or fewer teachers can employ a substitute for family illness leave or self-certified sick leave
  • If there are two or more teachers absent on the same day on self-certified sick leave, or the first day of family illness leave, a substitute may be employed for the second and subsequent absence.

It is permissible to provide a substitute with a combination of both leave types e.g. a teacher on Self-Certified sick leave and a teacher on Family Illness leave on the same day.

There is substitute cover available for all certified sick leave.
Under the terms of Chapter One of circular 54/2019 (PDF), sick leave may be used for the purpose of “obtaining medical related services (e.g. Doctor/Dentist) provided such appointments could not have been arranged outside of regular working hours or working days.”

The teacher should provide evidence of their appointment to support the absence, and this can be recorded as certified sick leave on the OLCS, which will have substitute cover.

There is substitute cover available for Covid-19: Special Leave with Pay.

This leave may be recorded for a teacher’s initial absence, when they have symptoms of Covid-19 and are arranging testing, and if they test positive for Covid-19. Up to seven consecutive days are available in any one instance.

If the teacher tests negative for Covid-19, the ordinary terms of the sick leave scheme will apply, which will only have substitute cover if a medical certificate is provided.

Teachers taking Covid-19: Special Leave with Pay should submit the form at Appendix A of circular 38/2022 (PDF) to their school, and a screenshot of a text from the HSE if the teacher has tested positive.

Please see FAQs here for more comprehensive advice in relation to Special Leave with Pay.

There is substitute cover available for most absences on bereavement leave under the terms of Circular 32/2007.

In the case of bereavement leave following the death of a first cousin, up to three consecutive days of leave may be taken, but only one day of substitute cover will be available.

There is substitute cover available for carer’s leave.
Substitute cover is not available for a teacher’s wedding leave.
Substitute cover is not available for a teacher attending a family wedding.
Substitute cover is not available for EPV days.

An exception exists for one teacher schools, which may employ a substitute to cover EPV days.

There is substitute cover available for a teacher who is representing Ireland at a sporting event.

The sport in question must have a national governing body which is recognised by the Sports Council of Ireland.

This is not available as a category on the OLCS, so schools that have approved this leave should email 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 it will be recorded by the DE.

There is substitute cover available if a teacher is required to attend court on school business.
One day of paid leave is available, without substitute cover.
Substitute cover will not be provided by the DE, but the cost of employing a substitute teacher may be recovered by the school from the body that issued the summons.

Paid leave is allowed for the number of days that the teacher is required to be in attendance under subpoena or summons.

There is substitute over available for a teacher who is called to do jury service.
As much paid leave as required is available.
If you are required to attend on behalf of the Teaching Council, substitute cover will be provided.

The absence is recorded under School Business – court attendances.
The BOM can claim payment for a substitute teacher from the Teaching Council.

If the teacher is attending a Teaching Council hearing by choice without being summoned by the Teaching Council there is no substitute cover available.

The Department will meet the cost of supplying a substitute teacher replacing Principal teachers in one-teacher schools who are absent for any reason as set out in Section 1 of Circular 32/2007 (PDF), and with the permission of the Board of Management.

Substitute cover will also be provided for Principals in one teacher schools in respect of Extra Personal Leave (EPV) days.

There is substitute cover available for Parent’s Leave.
There is substitute cover available for Paternity Leave.
There is substitute cover available for Parental Leave.
There is substitute cover available for Maternity Leave.
There is substitute cover available for antenatal classes.

A pregnant teacher is entitled to paid leave to attend one full set of antenatal classes in her career, and the final three classes in a set during any subsequent pregnancies.

There is substitute cover available for all antenatal medical appointments which a teacher is required to attend, and these should be recorded as “antenatal visits” on the OLCS and will not be part of the teacher’s sick leave.
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 (e.g. Doctor/Dentist) provided such appointments could not have been arranged outside of regular working hours or working days,” which may include fertility treatment.

Evidence of the appointment should be provided to support absences to attend medical appointments, but does not need to specify the nature of the illness or appointment.

These absences can be recorded as certified sick leave on the OLCS and will have substitute cover.

Substitute cover is not available for study leave.
Substitute cover is not available for exam leave.
Substitute cover is not available for Graduation Leave, whether attending the graduation of a teacher, or a teacher’s family member.
A non-casual substitute teacher is someone who has been appointed to a contract of more than forty days duration, or who has worked more than forty days during the school year.

These teachers are entitled to the same terms and conditions as their fixed-term or permanent colleagues while within their contract, including access to their own paid or unpaid leave of absence

Whether there is substitute cover for the non-casual substitute’s absence will depend on the nature of the absence – the FAQs on this page apply to non-casual substitute teachers for the duration of their contract.

A non-casual substitute teacher taking their own leave should submit the Substitute for a Substitute form to claim payment for the day of their absence. If the absence is substitutable, the teacher who is actually working in the school will be recorded on the OLCS.

Who can be engaged as a substitute ...

Substitute Supply Panels were formed to provide substitute cover to schools.

Teachers allocated and appointed to Substitute Supply Panels positions have a fixed-term contract with their base school, and will cover short-term substitutable absences (up to a fortnight) in participating schools.

There is more information about the operation of Substitute Supply Panels here.

Yes.

Under the normal terms of Chapter Seven of circular 54/2019 (PDF), a teacher on career break may work as a substitute for a maximum of 90 school days.

However, in light of an ongoing shortage of substitute teachers, this limit has been removed for the 2022/23 school year, per Information Note TC0010/2022 (PDF).

Teachers on career break will be paid the casual daily substitute rate for their first forty school days worked, and after that will move to their personal rate. Substitute work on career break will count toward a teacher’s incremental progression.

Yes.

Chapter Eight of circular 54/2019 states that teachers may not take up substitute work while participating in a job share, but as an exceptional measure in 2022/23, the DE will allow it. See information note 0007/2022 for details.

Job sharing teachers who undertake substitute work will be paid their personal daily rate.

Yes.

A half-time fixed-term teacher who is appointed as a “replacement teacher” in a job share may also substitute, subject to their availability and working not more than 25 hours per week.

Fixed-term “replacement teachers” who undertake substitute work will be paid their personal daily rate.

It will only be possible to record two days of substitute work per week on the OLCS for these teachers, so payment for any additional days worked should be arranged directly with Primary Payroll.

Yes.

A retired teacher who is registered with the Teaching Council may work as a substitute. They will be paid as a new entrant on the post-2010 salary scale and should be aware of the potential impact of employment on their pension, details here.

Yes.

However, schools should make every effort to source a fully qualified and registered teacher for substitute work in the first instance.

The “five-day rule” (which limits an unregistered person to working no more than five consecutive days) does not apply.

A teacher registered under Route 4 – Other will be paid at the unqualified substitute rate unless they are working in an SEN setting.

Yes.

However, schools should make every effort to source a fully qualified and registered teacher for substitute work in the first instance.

The “five-day rule” (which limits an unregistered person to working no more than five consecutive days) does not apply.

A student registered under Route 5 – Student Teachers will be paid at the unqualified substitute rate.

There is more detail about Route 5 registration here.

Yes.
However, schools should make every effort to source a fully qualified and registered teacher for substitute work in the first instance.

The “five-day rule” (which limits an unregistered person to working no more than five consecutive days) does not apply.

A student registered under Route 3 – Further Education will be paid at the unqualified substitute rate.

Yes.

However, schools should make every effort to source a fully qualified and registered teacher for substitute work in the first instance.

The employer must ensure that the person is appropriately vetted, and the “five-day rule” (which limits an unregistered person to working no more than five consecutive days) will apply.

An unregistered person will be paid at the unqualified substitute rate.

There is more detail about Route 5 registration here.

Yes.

However, schools should make every effort to source a fully qualified and registered teacher for substitute work in the first instance.

The “five-day rule” (which limits an unregistered person to working no more than five consecutive days) does not apply.

A teacher registered under Route 2 – Post-primary will be paid at the unqualified substitute rate in a primary setting, with the exception of teachers who are working in a special school with pupils completing the Junior Certificate.

No.

Teachers on secondment are in receipt of salary from the DE or their host organisation and cannot also be recorded as substitute teachers on the OLCS.

Per circular 29/2018, “it is not permissible for a secondee to engage in employment other than with the host organisation without the consent of the host organisation, the employer and the Department.”

No, per Chapter 5 of circular 54/2019 (PDF) a teacher on parental leave may not engage in any paid employment, including substitute teaching.
No, per circular 50/2022 (PDF), a teacher on parent’s leave may not engage in any paid employment, including substitute teaching.
Yes.

A teacher on carer’s leave may be employed as a substitute in their own school or any other school. They cannot cover the vacancy created by their own absence.

A teacher on carer’s leave may be employed for up to 18.5 hours, and their net earnings may not exceed €350 p.w. Someone who is in receipt of carer’s benefit must obtain the permission of the DSP in order to undertake paid employment.

There is more information here about employment while receiving carer’s benefit.

No, per Chapter Two of Circular 54/2019 (PDF) a teacher on maternity leave may not engage in any paid employment, including substitute teaching.
No, per Chapter Three of circular 54/2019 (PDF) a teacher on adoptive leave may not engage in any paid employment, including substitute teaching.
No, per Chapter Four of Circular 54/2019 (PDF) a teacher on paternity leave may not engage in any paid employment, including substitute teaching.