Bereavement Leave

Guide to Bereavement Leave for second-level teachers in Ireland.

Bereavement Leave Entitlement

A teacher is eligible for special leave with pay in the event of the death of any relative listed in Appendix A of Circular letter 0078/2022.

The number of days special leave with pay that may be granted will depend on the relative, as detailed in Appendix A - see below.

Bereavement Leave must be availed of at the time of the bereavement, to facilitate the teacher with time off from work.

In exceptional circumstances, where the funeral is held at a later date (e.g. funeral abroad), Bereavement Leave may be granted at that time, at the discretion of the employer.

Bereavement Leave must be taken over a consecutive period. The Bereavement Leave entitlement is calculated based on the working days, with periods of school closure included, and public/bank holidays and weekends excluded.

Application Procedures

A teacher absent due to a bereavement should notify their employer immediately.

An application for Bereavement Leave should be made to the employer as soon as is reasonably practicable after the bereavement, using the Application Form at Appendix C of this Circular.

Appendix A - Bereavement Leave Entitlements

Relative of the Teacher Bereavement Leave entitlement
Immediate Family:
• Spouse (including a cohabiting partner)
• Child (including adopted child, step-child and child being cared for on the basis of 'in loco parentis')
• Any person in a relationship of domestic dependency (meaning the deceased person shared accommodation with the teacher and also relied on them for their care
Maximum of 20 working days

Immediate Relative:

• Father
• Mother
• Step-father
• Step-mother
• Brother
• Step-brother
• Half-brother
• Brother-in-law
• Sister
• Step-sister
• Half-sister
• Sister-in-law
• Father-in-law
• Mother-in-law
• Son-in-law
• Daughter-in-law
• Grandfather
• Grandmother
• Grandchild

Note: Entitlement for a co-habiting partner (the teacher) is treated same as for a spouse i.e. entitlement for mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law.

Maximum of 5 working days
Where a teacher has to travel abroad to make funeral arrangements in respect of an immediate relative,
Bereavement Leave in excess of 5 working days may be granted at the discretion of their employer.

Note: For schools using the Department’s OLCS, the employer should contact the Department (OLCS Helpdesk) at: [email protected] for OLCS entry of Bereavement Leave in excess of 5 working days for ‘Immediate Relative’.

Other Immediate Relative
• Aunt
• Uncle
• Niece
• Nephew

Maximum of 1 working day
In exceptional circumstances, (e.g. where the teacher concerned has lived with the deceased at the time of their death, or has
to take charge of funeral arrangements), this limit may be extended up to 5 working days.

Note: For schools using the Department’s
OLCS, the employer should contact the Department (OLCS Helpdesk) at: [email protected] for OLCS entry of Bereavement Leave in excess of 1 working day for ‘Other Immediate Relative’.

Stillbirth or prenatal death after 24 weeks of pregnancy (refers to Bereavement Leave only, and does not affect Paternity Leave entitlement)

• Father of the child
• Spouse, Civil Partner or Cohabiting Partner of the child’s mother
• Parent of the child under Section 5 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, where the child is a donor-conceived child within the meaning of Part 2 of that Act.

Maximum of 10 working days

For full details on the Bereavement Leave Scheme, please refer to circular letter 0078/2022.