FAQ - Sick Leave

See below for Frequently Asked Questions and examples on new sick leave arrangements.


See here for information on the current sick leave arrangements.

How much sick leave will I be entitled to after September 1, 2014?

Non-critical illness
With effect from September 1, 2014 teachers may take up to 183 days sick leave for non-critical illness in a rolling 4-year period. See below to find out how you will work out your sick leave entitlement and rate of sick pay.

Critical illness
For critical illness, the limit is extended to 365 days in a rolling 4-year period. See below to find out how you will work out your sick leave entitlement and rate of sick pay.

What is a rolling period?

A rolling period means that any period to be taken into consideration in determining your remaining sick leave moves as the date progresses. Because rolling look-back periods apply, remaining sick leave entitlement is worked out on a day-by-day basis. So, for example, on April 1, 2014 a 4-year year look-back period will be until April 1, 2010, but on April 2, 2014 the four-year look back period will be until April 2, 2010. So, if you took sick leave on April 1, 2010 that leave would count against your sick leave entitlement on April 1, 2014 but would no longer count against your entitlement on April 2, 2014.

What if my paid sick leave is exhausted but I am not yet able to return to work?

If sick leave is exhausted and you remain out of work due to illness, Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration (TRR) may be paid for up to 548 days following non-critical illness leave and for up to 1,095 days following critical illness leave.

TRR will be equivalent to the rate of pension you would be entitled to at that point in time. TRR will not be less than the illness benefit rate paid by the Department of Social Protection to Class A PRSI employee.

What will constitute ‘critical illness’?

A protocol for critical illness has been established. This protocol means that if your illness meets requirements to be deemed ‘critical’, you will have access to the extended ‘critical illness’ sick leave allowance (365 days in a rolling 4-year period).
In order for your illness to be deemed ‘critical’ you should ordinarily be under the recent or current care of a consultant. The Occupational Health Service (Medmark) will assess your case and your illness may be deemed critical if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have an acute life threatening physical illness;
  • You have a chronic progressive illness, with well-established potential to reduce life expectancy where there is no medical intervention;
  • You have suffered major physical trauma ordinarily requiring corrective acute operative surgical treatment; or
  • You are in need of in-patient hospital care of two consecutive weeks or more (in the case of pregnancy-related illness this is reduced to two or more consecutive days of in- patient hospital / clinic care.

Management has discretion to grant ‘critical illness’ leave even when the above conditions are not met. Read the full critical illness protocol here.

What if I have periods of critical illness interspersed with periods of non-critical illness?

If you are deemed to have a critical illness, you will continue to retain the entitlement to extended critical illness leave while you continue to be absent on critical illness or for a year following the first incidence of your critical illness sick leave. After that has passed you will revert to ‘non-critical illness’ entitlement. However, if you need to take sick leave again following critical illness, management does have the discretion to apply the critical illness protocol on a case-by-case basis.  

Will sick leave I have already taken be considered when the new arrangements are in place?

Yes, under both the old and the new arrangements, a rolling 4-year period applies to determine your sick leave entitlement. This means that any sick leave taken in the 4 years previous to your latest day of sick leave will be taken into consideration.  

If I am on sick leave when the new arrangements are implemented, does my entitlement reduce immediately?

No, as a phasing-in arrangement, teachers who are absent on sick leave when the new arrangements come into operation on September 1, 2014 will continue to retain their existing sick leave entitlements (365 days in a rolling 4-year period) until they return to work. Once they return to work, however, the new sick leave arrangements will apply to them.