FAQ Category

Leave Entitlements

  • How long is Carer’s Leave?

    The Carer’s Leave Act 2001 allows employees to leave their employment temporarily to provide full-time care for someone in need of full-time care and attention. You are entitled to take carer’s leave of at least 13 weeks up to a maximum of 104 weeks.

  • What is Force Majeure?

    Force Majeure leave can be given if you have a family crisis.   The Parental Leave Acts 1998 and 2006 give an employee a limited right to leave from work. It arises where, for urgent family reasons, the immediate presence of the employee is indispensable owing to an injury or illness of a close family member.

    Force majeure leave does not give any entitlement to leave following the death of a close family member.

    A close family member is defined as one of the following:

    • A child or adopted child of the employee
    • The husband, wife or partner of the employee
    • Parent or grandparent of the employee
    • Brother or sister of the employee
    • Person to whom the employee has a duty of care (that is, he/she is acting in loco parentis)
    • A person in a relationship of domestic dependency with the employee
    • Persons of any other class (if any) as may be prescribed

    The maximum amount of leave is 3 days in any 12-month period or 5 days in a 36-month period. You are entitled to be paid while you are on force majeure leave.

    You are protected against unfair dismissal for taking force majeure leave or proposing to take it.

  • Do I have to give Paternity Leave?

    Yes, an employer do have to grant their employee paternity leave if requested and fulfil all the requirements.

    With effect from 1 September 2016, new parents (other than the mother of the child) are entitled to paternity leave from employment or self-employment following birth or adoption of a child.  The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides for statutory paternity leave of 2 weeks.

  • How long do you have to work before taking Parental Leave?

    An employee should be in employment for one year before you are entitled to parental leave.

    However if the child is very near the age threshold and you have been working for your employer for more than 3 months but less than one year you are entitled to pro-rata parental leave. This is one week’s leave for every month of employment completed.


  • Can I take annual leave while out sick?

    The simple answer to this is No.  If you have medical certificate stating that you are unfit for work due to absence then you cannot take annual leave.

  • How do I calculate annual leave?

    The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides for a basic annual paid leave entitlement of 4 weeks, although an employee’s contract could give greater rights.

    Under Section 19 (1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 you are entitled to a basic annual paid leave entitlement of 4 weeks. There are 3 different ways of calculating your annual leave entitlement:

    • Based on the employee’s working hours during what is called the leave year, which runs from April to March. An employee who has worked at least 1,365 hours in a leave year is entitled to the maximum of 4 working weeks’ paid annual leave unless it is a leave year in which they change employment. Many employers use the calendar year (January-December) instead of the official leave year to calculate entitlement
    • By allowing 1/3 of a working week for each calendar month in which the employee has worked at least 117 hours
    • 8% of the hours worked in the leave year, subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks

    An employee may use whichever of these methods gives the greater entitlement. When calculating the entitlement, employers should include all hours worked including time spent on annual leave, maternity leave, parental leave, force majeure leave, adoptive leave or the first 13 weeks of carer’s leave.

    An employee who has worked for at least 8 months is entitled to an unbroken period of 2 weeks’ annual leave.