COVID-19 related leave for Public Health Service employees

Special leave with pay for COVID-19 (SLWP) is currently used in lieu of sick leave for COVID-19. This is to assist in the prevention of the possible onward spread of COVID-19 in the work premises.

From 1 July 2022, SLWP will apply for the duration of the stated self-isolation period only (whatever duration is in place at the time of the absence, currently 7 calendar days). From 1 July 2022, any periods of COVID-19-related illness which extend beyond the stated self-isolation period will be treated as ordinary sick leave. The arrangements relating to SLWP are temporary and will be kept under regular review.

COVID-19 self-declaration application form for paid special leave - HR 108 (C-19) (PDF, 710KB, 2 pages)

Guidance and FAQs for public service employers during COVID-19 - HR Circular 18 2022

SLWP will only apply when you are required to self-isolate and displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

You must be either:

  • awaiting a test result; or
  • have a positive PCR test; or
  • registered a positive antigen test on the HSE portal

You should follow medical or HSE advice. Read HSE latest criteria for self-isolation.

While public health advice no longer requires testing for certain groups, you can still register positive antigen test results on the HSE portal. Healthcare workers who have symptoms should get a PCR test.

SLWP does not apply in any other scenarios.

Number of days SLWP for COVID-19

You may receive SLWP for COVID-19 for up to 7 calendar days (i.e. the current self-isolation period) if you are symptomatic and:

  • awaiting a test result; or
  • have a positive PCR test for COVID-19; or
  • registered a positive antigen test on the HSE portal

If you are still unwell after 7 calendar days you will move to ordinary sick leave arrangements, including a referral to Occupational Health.

Temporary paid leave scheme for public health service employees unfit for work after COVID-19 infection

To qualify for the temporary scheme you must have been:

  • working in a COVID-19 exposed environment prior to your COVID-19 infection absence
  • receiving SLWP for COVID-19 for at least 84 days before 7 February 2022, and still on SLWP up to 30 June 2022
  • eligible under the terms of the special extension under section 3 of HSE HR Circular 73/2020 for continued payment of SLWP after 7 February 2022 up to 30 June 2022

Temporary scheme of paid leave for public health service employees unfit for work post COVID-19 infection (HR circular 022 2022)