Annual leave

Your entitlement

You can see how many days annual leave you are entitled to on your contract. You build up annual leave entitlements as soon as you start work. The HSE annual leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

Calculating annual leave

The number of hours you work per week determines how many days annual leave you will get.

The Working Time Act 1997 sets out how employers must calculate leave. If you work part-time annual leave is calculated on a pro rata basis. This means your annual leave entitlement is calculated in proportion to the number of hours you work.

Taking annual leave

You can take a continuous period of 2 weeks off if you work more than 8 months in a leave year. Your line manager approves your annual leave, taking into account service needs, family responsibilities, and opportunities for you to rest.

How you apply for leave varies depending on where you work. Ask your line manager what the process is for you.

Carrying over leave

Carryover of annual leave during COVID-19

You may not be able to take all of your annual leave before the leave year ends on 31 March. For example, if your manager can't allow you to take annual leave at certain times.

If this happens you can carry over your leave. Carrying over leave is for exceptional circumstances. Your line manager must approve your request to carry over leave.

You must take this 'carry over' leave within the first 6 months of the next leave year.

Sick while on annual leave

You can get annual leave days back if you were sick while on annual leave. To do this, you must give your line manager a doctor's cert for the days you were sick.

Other leave types

Certain types of leave do not affect your annual leave entitlement.

This applies if you are on:

For leave types listed above, you will continue to build up annual leave entitlements in the same way as if you were in work.

Leaving your job

If you leave your job and have annual leave left over we will pay you for all annual leave and public holidays due to you.

We will pay you for any public holiday that falls immediately after your last week of work, as long as you have worked for the 4 previous weeks.

How to apply for leave

How you apply for leave varies depending on where you work. Ask your line manager what the process is for you.

National HR Employee Helpdesk

Phone: 1800 444 925


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