What are my entitlements to annual leave in Ireland?
Check the law and your contract
As in all employment law matters in Ireland, your entitlements are set out in your contract of employment and legislation, mainly The Organisation of Working time Act 1997.
A short list of leave entitlements includes the following:
There is no statutory entitlement to the following, although they may be covered in your contract of employment;
career break or study leave
How is annual leave calculated?
Your employer decides when annual leave is taken, making allowances for rest and recreation, family responsibilities and consultation at least one month before the leave is taken.
There are three methods for calculating annual leave.
The leave year method.
Where an employee has worked at least 1,365 hours in the leave year (April-March), they are entitled to a maximum of 4 working weeks annual leave. This does not apply where employment ceases during the leave year.
The 1/3 rule
One third of a working week is allowed for every calendar month where an employee has worked a minimum of 117 hours.
- Working the percentages.
You take the number of hours worked in the leave year, and calculate 8% , subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks.
The employee may use whichever method results in the greater benefit.
You are entitled to an unbroken period of 2 weeks annual leave, where you have worked for a minimum of 8 months.
Part time work
Part time workers holiday entitlement is usually calculated using method number three above. In a year where you have worked full time for a period, followed by part-time work then you can use whichever is the most beneficial method to calculate your holiday entitlement for the full time work period and then use method number 3 to calculate your holiday entitlement for the part-time period separately.
How is annual leave paid?
By law annual leave must be paid in advance and on time.
What if I am sick while on annual leave?
Provided you obtain a certificate from a doctor (GP) to cover the sick period, then the sick days are not taken off your annual leave entitlement. You can use those days later, as leave days.
How does sickness affect my entitlement to annual leave?
An amendment to the Workplace Relations Act 2015 affects how statutory leave is implemented when the employee is on certified sick leave:
- Entitlement to annual leave continues to accrue while the employee is on sick leave.
- If an employee cannot take their annual leave during the leave year or a carry over period of six months, due to illness, then the carry over period is enlarged to fifteen months.
- If an employee leaves employment, they are entitled to payment in lieu for any leave which they were unable to take because of illness. The employee must have left their job within fifteen months of the end of the applicable leave year.
The other leave mentioned above, which is sanctioned by law does not affect your calculations in respect of annual leave.
What can I do if I am not getting my full entitlement to leave?
You can make a complaint within six months of the occurrence of the matter. For independent advice, you should contact one of our qualified, experienced employment law consultants.
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