John M Shanahan & Co.

linking practice to business

Chartered Accountants
Registered Auditors

Phone: 057 93 22100


Compassionate & Sick Leave

sick leave

Sick, Compassionate, & Other types of Leave from Work

Sick Leave

In general an employee has no right under employment law to be paid while on sick leave. Consequently, it is at the discretion of the employer to decide his/her own policy on sick pay and sick leave, subject to the employee’s contract or terms of employment.


Sick leave during public holidays

If you are a full time worker who is on sick leave during a public holiday, you are entitled to benefit for the public holiday you missed. If you are a part-time worker on sick leave during a public holiday, you would be entitled to time off work for the public holiday provided you worked for your employer at least 40 hours in the previous 5-week period.

Sick leave and annual leave

If you are ill during your annual leave and have a medical certificate for the days you were ill, these sick days will not be counted as annual leave days. Instead, you can use these days as annual leave at a later date.

An employer cannot require you to take annual leave for a certified period of illness. However, illness during the leave year will reduce the total number of hours worked by you and may therefore affect your entitlement to annual leave.

Compassionate Leave

There is no legal entitlement to compassionate leave, generally it is at the discretion of the employer. 

If a member of your close family dies you have no entitlement to force majeure leave. Other compassionate leave not covered by force majeure leave will depend on your employment contract, custom and practice within your workplace or the employer's discretion.

Illness Benefit

You may apply for Illness Benefit if you have enough social insurance contributions. If you do not have enough social insurance contributions, you should contact the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly the Community Welfare Officer) at your local health centre who will assess your situation.

If you are entitled to sick pay, your employer will probably require you to sign over any Illness Benefit payment from the Department of Social Protection to your employer for as long as the sick pay continues. Often, your contract of employment will place a maximum period of sick pay entitlement in a stated period, for example, one month's sick pay in any 12-month period.

Jury Service

If you are called for jury service, generally you are obliged to attend. The Juries Act 1976 requires that an employee or an apprentice who is called for jury service be given time off to attend the court. Under the Act while you are absent from work to comply with a jury summons you are entitled to be paid and you should not lose any other employment entitlements or rights. So, for example, the time spent on jury service will not mean any loss of annual leave entitlement.




Career Break & Study Leave

There is no entitlement to take a career break or study leave. You may have a provision in your contract of employment about this or you may be able to negotiate with your employer. An employer should consider requests for a career break or study leave made on an individual basis.


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