Leave Policy in Ireland

Shraddha Saxena
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Table of Content

Situated in the heart of the Emerald Isle, Ireland provides a comprehensive framework for employee leave, including public holidays, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, and bereavement leave. Efficient management of these entitlements is crucial for employers, especially those looking to hire employees from Ireland or through an Employer of Record (EOR) in Ireland. This guide offers comprehensive insights into Ireland's leave policies, ensuring you are well-prepared for the recruitment and management of your workforce.

Annual Leave (Vacation)

An employee’s right to annual leave or holidays in Ireland is defined by both legislation and their employment contract. The Organization of Working Time Act 1997 outlines these entitlements, granting a basic annual paid leave of four weeks (20 working days). However, employment contracts may offer more generous leave. For part-time employees, leave is calculated as 8% of hours worked, with a maximum of four working weeks per year.

Public Holidays

  • 1 Jan 2024 (Monday): New Year’s Day
  • 5 Feb 2024 (Monday): St Brigid’s Day
  • 17 Mar 2024 (Sunday): Saint Patrick’s Day
  • 18 Mar 2024 (Monday): Saint Patrick’s Day Holiday (Day Off in Lieu)
  • 1 Apr 2024 (Monday): Easter Monday
  • 6 May 2024 (Monday): May Day
  • 3 Jun 2024 (Monday): June Bank Holiday
  • 5 Aug 2024 (Monday): August Bank Holiday
  • 28 Oct 2024 (Monday): October Bank Holiday
  • 25 Dec 2024 (Wednesday): Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec 2024 (Thursday): St Stephen’s Day

Sick Days

  • In Ireland, workers are legally entitled to 5 days of sick pay per year starting from the first day of illness, provided a medical certificate is submitted by the 4th day of sickness.
  • Sick leave can be taken consecutively or on separate days.
  • Employers must pay sick leave at 70% of the employee's regular salary, capped at €110 per day.
  • To qualify, employees must have been employed for at least 13 weeks.
  • Companies have the option to implement more generous sick pay policies.
  • This entitlement is part of a broader 4-year phased sick pay legislation:
3 days of sick pay entitlement 2023
5 days of sick pay entitlement 2024
7 days of sick pay entitlement 2025
10 days of sick pay entitlement 2026

Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave Entitlement in Ireland Details
Duration 26 weeks (156 days) of maternity leave
Additional Leave 16 weeks of unpaid leave starting immediately after maternity leave
Mandatory Leave At least 2 weeks before the expected birth and at least 4 weeks after the birth
Paid Leave Eligibility Dependent on sufficient social insurance (PRSI) contributions
PRSI Eligibility Conditions Details
Condition 1 At least 39 weeks of PRSI contributions in the 12 months before the start of maternity leave
Condition 2 At least 39 weeks of PRSI contributions since starting work, plus 39 weeks of contributions or credits in the relevant tax year or the year immediately following
Condition 3 At least 26 weeks of PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year and 26 weeks in the year immediately before the relevant tax year
Weekly Benefit Rate €262.00

Paternity Leave

Fathers in Ireland are entitled to seven weeks of paternity leave, which can commence at any time within the first six months after the birth of a child or the placement in the case of adoption. Relevant parents include the child's father, the mother's partner (spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant), and the parent of a donor-conceived child. Employers are not obligated to pay employees during paternity leave; however, employees may qualify for paternity benefits if they have made sufficient PRSI contributions.

Parental Leave

Parents in Ireland are eligible for up to 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave for each child under the age of 12.

  • Employees must have been with their employer for at least one year to qualify.
  • A written request for parental leave must be provided to the employer at least six weeks prior to the desired start date.
  • Adoptive leave allows one adoptive parent up to 24 weeks of unpaid leave from the date the child is placed in their care.

The Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2021:

  • Has passed all legislative stages in the Oireachtas.
  • Effective from April 2021.
  • Covers all children born since November 2019.
  • Addresses gaps in the Adoption Leave Act regarding male same-sex couples.
  • Provides greater flexibility for adoptive parents to decide which parent will take adoptive leave and benefits.

Effective from 1 July 2022:

  • Parents' leave has been extended from 5 to 7 weeks.
  • Available to parents with a child under 2 years old or those who adopted a child within the last 2 years.
  • Additional leave must be taken by the child’s second birthday or within 2 years of the adoption placement.

No service requirement for eligibility for parents' leave.

  • Employees can claim the associated benefit from the Department of Social Protection if they have the required level of social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

Carer’s leave

Employees in Ireland may take unpaid leave to care for someone in need if they have worked with the same employer for 12 months and have sufficient PRSI contributions. Carer's leave can be up to 104 weeks, taken either continuously or in multiple blocks of at least six weeks. Employees must provide six months’ notice, but shorter notices may be accepted or rejected by the employer. For two simultaneous care recipients, eligibility extends to 208 weeks with a single application.

Hassle-Free Leave Policy Management in Ireland  with Gloroots

At Gloroots, we understand that navigating leave policies can be complex, especially when expanding your business and hiring across borders. Our platform ensures compliance with Ireland labor laws, maintains clear leave balances, processes leave requests smoothly, and generates comprehensive leave reports. By partnering with Gloroots, you can focus on scaling your business while we handle the complexities of employee leave management. Contact us to discover how Gloroots can simplify your HR processes and enhance your operations in Ireland.

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