Taking annual leave
The Act provides for a basic annual paid leave entitlement of 4 weeks,
although an employee's contract could give greater rights.
It is for your employer to decide when annual leave may be taken, but this
is subject to a number of conditions. Your employer must take into account your
family responsibilities, opportunities for rest and recreation that are
available to you and to consult with you (or your union) at least one month
before the leave is to be taken. In addition, annual leave should be taken
within the appropriate leave year or with your consent, within 6 months of the
relevant leave year. Further holding over (also known as carrying-over) of
annual leave at your wish is a matter for agreement between you and your
Holiday pay: Pay in respect of annual leave is paid in
advance at the normal weekly rate. If your pay varies because, for example, of
commission or bonus payments, your pay for your holidays is the average of your
pay over the 13 weeks before you take holidays.
Annual leave and sick leave
If you are ill while you are on annual leave, you should get a medical
certificate from your family doctor (GP) as soon as possible to cover the days
that you were sick and give this to your employer as soon as you return to
work. In this way, the sick days will not count as annual leave and
will be available to you at a later date. An employer cannot require you to
take annual leave for a certified period of illness.
to the Workplace Relations Act 2015 made changes to how statutory annual leave
is managed when an employee is on certified sick leave. These changes took
effect on 1 August 2015 and include:
- An employee’s annual statutory leave entitlement continues to build up
during a period of certified sick leave.
- An employee, who due to illness cannot take annual leave during the
relevant leave year or the normal carryover period of 6 months, is entitled
to an extended carryover period of 15 months after the leave year to take
their accrued annual leave.
- If an employee leaves their job they are entitled to payment in lieu for
any annual leave that accrued and was untaken as a result of illness. This
payment in lieu only applies if you leave your employment up to 15 months
after the end of the leave year during which the statutory leave
Annual leave and other leave
Annual leave is not affected by other leave provided for by law. Time spent
on maternity leave, adoptive leave, parental leave, force majeure leave and the
first 13 weeks of carer's leave is treated as though you have been in
employment and this time can be used to accumulate annual leave entitlement -
see 'Calculating annual leave' below.
Annual leave and leaving employment
It is illegal under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 for an
employer to pay an allowance in lieu of the minimum statutory holiday
entitlement of an employee unless the employment relationship is terminated. In
general, your annual leave is calculated on the basis of hours worked.
If you are leaving a job you are entitled to receive payment for any
outstanding annual leave and public holidays due to you.