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Serious physical assault scheme (leave entitlement)

Eligibility for the scheme

The assault must have taken place in the course of your duties, without being your fault.

A serious physical assault is defined as:

'The intention or reckless applications of force against the person by another without lawful justification, or causing another to be subjected to such force without lawful justification, resulting in physical injury.'

Payments under the scheme

The scheme provides for full pay, including allowances and premium earnings, for a period of up to 6 months for all public health service employees.

Revised serious physical assault scheme – revision of entitlements (HR Circular 020 2023)

Payment under the scheme does not affect entitlements under the sick pay scheme.

All grades (except nurses) can appeal a decision through the grievance procedure (2004) (PDF, 567 KB, 13 pages)

Revised serious physical assault scheme for nurses

Nurses who are eligible may be granted 2 further extensions.

If approved, these may include:

  • 3 months at basic pay plus allowances and premium pay
  • 3 months at basic pay only

You may appeal a decision on your entitlement to the scheme to an independent appeals board.

Long term absence benefit schemes guidelines (PDF, 1.3 MB, 32 pages)

Hospital and medical expenses

Some hospital and medical charges may be covered under the scheme.

You can claim for:

  • refunds of expenditure for treatment provided by the public health service
  • GP, casualty and consultant visits
  • prescription charges

You must claim under medical insurance where appropriate, for example, VHI, Drug Refund Scheme. You will receive payment only for any excess expenditure.

In exceptional circumstances, you may be refunded for private treatment. For example, where there are long waiting times for treatment or treatment is not available in the public health service.

Payments under this scheme do not admit any admission of liability on the part of the HSE.

When payment under the scheme ends

If you are still unfit for work after payments under the assault scheme ends, you may be granted sick pay under the sick pay scheme or Injury at Work Scheme.

Long term absence benefit schemes guidelines (PDF, 1.3 MB, 32 pages)

How to apply for leave under the Serious Physical Assault Scheme

Fill in the form and submit it to your line manager.

Serious physical assault scheme leave form HR108m (PDF, 132 KB, 3 pages)

National HR Employee Helpdesk

Phone: 1800 444 925


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