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Force Majeure Leave is paid leave and is separate from parental leave. It is limited to a maximum of three days in each period of 12 months or five days in 36 months. This leave covers situations where, for urgent family illness reasons, the immediate presence of the employee is indispensably required at the place where the family member is. For the purposes of the Act, family member is defined as: child or adoptive child, spouse or person with whom the employee is living as husband or wife, a person to whom the employee is in loco parentis, brother or sister, parent or grandparent. Currently it is the view of the Department of Education and Science that teachers already have the facility of paid leave for absences covered by force majeure and therefore the number of days allowed, i.e. five, will not be increased by the introduction of force majeure leave. This is contrary to the ASTI view and this is being pursued through the relevant channels.
As soon as reasonably practicable after his / her return to work after an absence on Force Majeure Leave, a teacher must confirm to the Principal / Manager, using the relevant form, that he / she has taken the leave.
For more information see Department Circulars 17/99 and PPT01/04. You may also contact the Equality Authority, Clonmel Street, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 417 3333. Lo-call: 1890 245545. Fax: (01) 417 3366 (www.equality.ie).