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COVID-19 related leave

Health service employees who have respiratory symptoms must self-isolate immediately

Special leave with pay for COVID-19 – Public Health Service Employees

Special leave with pay for COVID-19 applies when you are advised to self-isolate and are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or you had a positive test. Appropriate medical/HSE confirmation of the need to self-isolate and/or a diagnosis of COVID-19 is required.

See HSE HR Circular 034-2021 Updated DPER FAQs re Working Arrangements and Leave associated with COVID-19.

From 20 October 2021 special leave with pay also applies if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 and self-refer for a COVID-19 test but you must provide written evidence of the COVID-19 test result to your manager. Special leave with pay for Self –referral for COVID-19 test

Special leave with pay does not apply if you are restricting your movements (see section below) or you are in the very high-risk category and are cocooning. Employees in these categories should be facilitated to work from home.

Special leave due to COVID -19 (positive case and self-isolation purposes) is not counted as part of your sick leave record.

To get special leave with pay for COVID-19 you must comply with HR policies and procedures that apply during sick leave. If you test positive for COVID-19, special leave with pay may continue for up to 28 days if needed. A medical cert from your doctor (who must be a registered medical practitioner) is required. If you are still unwell after 28 days, ordinary sick leave arrangements will apply. See further information on sick leave.

In certain circumstances, special leave with pay for COVID-19 may continue to be paid beyond 28 days provided you meet the specific criteria. Please refer to HR Circular 034 2021

Arrangements if you have to restrict your movements

If you are a close contact of a known case of COVID-19 you will need to restrict your movements for 14 days.

Special leave with pay for COVID-19 does not apply if you are advised to restrict your movements by contact tracing. While you are restricting your movements you should not attend the work premises.

  • If you are currently working from home due to COVID-19, you will continue to work remotely as normal.
  • If you are an essential frontline healthcare employee who is required to attend the work premises during COVID-19, you will need to work from home.

You must notify your manager as soon as possible so that they can make appropriate arrangements. You will be required to work from home and your manager may assign you different duties, outside your normal role, to enable you to work remotely during this period. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 during this time you should contact your GP who will arrange for a test for you.

See further information on working from home

Information for managers of employees who are advised to restrict their movements

As a manager, you are required to facilitate your employee to work from home and to assign duties that can be done remotely. See further information on managing a team working from different locations

See COVID-19 work arrangements – Quick Guide for Public Service Employers

Special leave with pay for COVID-19– self-referral for COVID-19 test

From 20 October 2021 special leave with pay also applies if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 and self-refer for a COVID-19 test. You must provide written evidence of the COVID-19 test result to your manager.

  • If you test negative for COVID-19 you may be granted SLWP from the date of sickness absence from work due to displaying COVID-19 symptoms up to the date of the negative test result. If you are still unfit for work after the date of the negative test result you will be eligible for sick pay under the public service sick leave scheme.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 you may continue to receive SLWP in accordance with the provisions outlined in section 4 of HSE Circular 034/2021.

Leave arrangements for carers and parents

There is no special paid leave available for COVID-19 caring arrangements.

Regular carer’s leave arrangements apply during this time. See carer’s leave

Regular parental leave arrangements apply during this time. Further information regarding leave is available here

Related items

HR Circular 034 2021 Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers during COVID-19 in relation to working arrangements

HR Circular 038 2021 re Working from Home and Special Leave with Pay for COVID-19 (SLWP)

Appendix A DPER FAQs dated 23 December 2020

Appendix B Procedure for Employees & Manager COVID-19 absences

Appendix D: Quick guide on working arrangements (8 pages, pdf)

Appendix C Self-Declaration Form COVID-19 (3 pages, word document)

Page last reviewed: 12/04/2021
Next review due: 12/04/2024