Unpaid Leave - Terms and Conditions of Employment for Registered Teachers - Chapter Seven

Unpaid Leave

Unpaid leave must only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances, where the employer is satisfied that there is a compelling obligation involving absence from duty. Absences under this heading must not be used to substitute other forms of leave, statutory or otherwise and must not be of a recurring nature.

Duration of Unpaid Leave

The maximum amount of unpaid leave which may be taken is 10 school days in a school year. Substitution will be paid by the Department.


Applications for unpaid leave must be approved by the Board of Management/ETB six weeks in advance of the absence.


Absence for part of a school day constitutes an absence for a full school day.

Pro-rata entitlements to absences will apply to teachers employed on a part-time basis.

Any unpaid absence without the approval of the employer will be dealt with under disciplinary procedures.

The employer shall submit notice of all unpaid leave to the Department (via the On Line Claims System)/ETB regardless of whether or not a substitute teacher was employed. Applications for unpaid leave should be entered on the OLCS system as early as possible after they are approved by the employer to ensure that deductions from pay are made at the correct time. It should be noted that an absence for unpaid leave cannot be changed once it is processed on the OLCS.

Absences under this heading do not impinge on entitlements under Statutory Leave.

A teacher absent on unpaid leave cannot be employed in another recognised primary or second level school to undertake teaching in any capacity or undertake the duties of a special needs assistant.


For further information on Unpaid Leave please refer to Terms and Conditions of Employment for Registered Teachers -Chapter Seven