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Sick leave

You should let your manager know as soon as possible, and before your start time, that you are unable to attend work because you are ill.

You are entitled to sick pay where you comply with the HSE’s Managing Attendance Policy and Procedure (PDF) and the HSE’s Rehabilitation Policy (PDF).

Self-certified sick leave

You may be granted up to a maximum of 7 days self-certified paid sick leave in a continuous 2-year period. This means that if your sickness absence does not exceed 2 consecutive days, you are not automatically required to submit a medical certificate. This is unless you are specifically requested to do so.

You will be required to meet with your manager when you return to work. You will need to complete a self-certification of sickness absence form.

Certified sick leave for full-time permanent staff

Certified sick leave is when your GP says you are too unwell to work. They will give you a medical cert. The cert will say the number of days your GP thinks that you need to be off work to recover. This is known as medically-certified sick leave.

Limits for ordinary sick pay

In a rolling 1 year period:

  • 92 calendar days (3 months) on full pay, followed by
  • 91 calendar days (3 months) on half pay

This is subject to a maximum of 183 calendar days in a rolling 4 year period.

Any period of self-certified sick leave is taken into account for the purpose of calculating your paid sick leave entitlement.

See: Circular 005/2014 (PDF)

Sick leave entitlement for part-time and fixed-term employees

If you work part-time, your sick leave allowance will depend on the number of hours you work. Your line manager will calculate your sick leave entitlement.

If you are on a fixed term contract, for every year you work you are entitled to:

  • 35 days full pay, and
  • 35 days half pay

If you work less than a year, your allowance will be less. It will be based on the length of your contract.

Critical illness or injury

If you become seriously injured or critically ill, you can apply to extend your paid sick leave entitlements.

You will be referred to Occupational Health to assess if you meet the medical criteria. Management and HR will use this information, and other criteria, in deciding if you will be granted extended sick pay.


If you are approved for extended sick leave, the limits are:

In a rolling 1 year period:

  • up to a maximum of 6 months (183 days) on full pay, followed by
  • up to a maximum of 6 months (182 days) on half pay

This is subject to a maximum of 365 days in a rolling 4 year period.

Protective year after critical illness

When you return to work after a critical illness or injury you have a protective year. This means that if you are sick again you can receive extended sick leave pay for 12 months. This is subject to an overall limit of 365 days critical illness leave in a rolling 4 year period. You can receive the sick leave extensions even if you have an unrelated non-critical illness or injury.

See: Circular 005/2014 (PDF) and Circular 014/2018

Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration (TRR)

TRR is the payment you can apply for if you've used up all your sick leave and are still sick.

You can apply to get TRR if:

  • you have the service required for an ill health retirement pension; and
  • there is a reasonable prospect that you will be able to return to work

The TRR rate of pay is the same as the rate of pension you would be paid if you retired on ill health grounds on that date.

Sick leave during pregnancy

Pregnancy-related sick leave is treated differently to other types of sick leave. You must be medically certified as unfit for work due to a pregnancy-related illness.

If you have a certified pregnancy-related illness you can get sick leave in the normal way. You will have the same allowance as normal.

If you use up all your sick leave on full and half pay before going on maternity leave, you may get a special extension of sick pay at half pay.

If you are ill after maternity leave, and have used up your sick pay because of pregnancy- related illness, you may be entitled to have your pregnancy-related sick leave restored to you at half pay. This is subject to the normal limits for sick pay.

See: Circular 019/2015

Illness benefit

You may be eligible to receive illness benefit or occupational injury benefit from Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) when you are ill or injured.

Information on qualifying and applying for illness benefit.

You need to tell us the rate you will receive from DEASP so we can ensure that we deduct the correct amount.

See: Circular 005/2018 (PDF)

How to apply for illness benefit

Your GP will give you an illness benefit claim form (IB1) along with a social welfare medical certificate (MED1). You fill out the IB1 claim form. Your GP completes the MED1 medical certificate.

You should apply for illness benefit from the first day of illness.

Please mark on the form to have your illness benefit paid to you and not to your employer.

Send your completed forms by freepost to:

Illness Benefit Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
PO Box 1650
Dublin 1

Get more information on illness benefit from

Illness or injury while at work

You may be covered by one of the HSE's occupational illness or injury schemes if your illness or injury occurs while you're at work. This also includes if you are assaulted at work.

See Long Term Absence Benefit Schemes Guidelines (PDF)


National HR Employee Helpdesk

Phone: 1850 444 925


The helpdesk is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm

Page last reviewed: 20/11/2020
Next review due: 20/11/2023