Checklist when applying for carer's leave


To apply for carer’s leave you should follow the procedures below.

1. Check if you qualify for carer’s leave

You must have worked for your employer for 12 months without a break. The Department of Social Protection. (DSP) must decide that the person you are proposing to care for is in need of full-time care and attention – see 2 below.

2. Apply to DSP for a decision that the person needs full-time care

If the person you intend to care for is over 16, their GP must complete part of the application form for Carer's Benefit (pdf). Your employer must also fill in part of this form giving your employment details. You should send the completed application form to DSP, who will decide whether the person you will be caring for needs that care. DSP will also check if you are eligible for Carer's Benefit.

3. How much carers leave am I entitled to?

Under the Carer’s Leave Act 2001, you are entitled to at least 13 weeks’ carer’s leave up to a maximum of 104 weeks. You can apply to take it in one continuous period or for a number of shorter periods. There must be a gap of at least 6 weeks between the periods of carer’s leave.

If your employer agrees you can take a shorter period of leave. However, your employer can refuse (if they have good reason) to allow you to take carer's leave of less than 13 weeks and must give you the reasons for the refusal in writing.

4. Give notice to your employer

You must give your employer at least 6 weeks’ notice in writing saying when and how you plan to take carer’s leave, and whether it will be in one block or separate periods. You should confirm that you have applied to DSP for a decision on the person for whom you propose to care. You can find a sample notice of intention form in Appendix A of the Carer's Leave Act explanatory booklet (pdf). In emergency situations where you cannot give 6 weeks' notice, you should give notice as soon as possible.

5. Confirmation of carer’s leave

You and your employer must sign a document confirming the arrangement for carer's leave, at least 2 weeks before you begin the leave. The document should state the start date, how long it will last, and specify how you will take it. You can find a sample confirmation document in Appendix B of the Carer's Leave Act explanatory booklet (pdf). Your employer keeps the signed document and gives you a copy of it.

This document is flexible, which means that your arrangement to take carer's leave can be amended, even if you have already started your leave.

More information

You can find out more about carer’s leave. You can contact Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Service for information about carer’s leave.

For information about Carer's Benefit, contact your local social welfare office or Intreo centre.

Page edited: 11 January 2023