Department of Education
Published on 4 December 2019
Last updated on 23 August 2022
Parental leave is a period of statutory unpaid leave available to teachers, SNAs and other employees for the purpose of caring for their child.
A teacher or SNA is entitled up to a maximum of 26 weeks' parental leave for each child up to the age of 13 years, or the age of 16 years in the case of a child with a disability or long-term illness.
For further information, please refer to the Parental Leave Scheme
contained in Circular Letter 0054/2019
titled 'Leave Schemes for Registered Teachers employed in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools'
Parental Leave Entitlements for Special Needs Assistants
Staff are entitled to 26 weeks parental leave for each child up to age of 13 years and 16 years in the case of a child with a disability. There is no obligation to take the full 26 weeks leave.
For further information on Parental Leave Entitlements please see the circulars below:
Clerical officers and caretakers employed in National Schools under the 1978/79 Scheme and clerical officers employed in Post Primary Schools under the 1978 Scheme
Parental Leave Entitlement for all staff, other than teachers and SNAs, in Education and Training Boards
A teacher must complete the Application Form
on page 89 of Circular 0054/2019 and submit it to their employer at least 6 weeks before the planned commencement date.
SNAs must complete the Application Form on page 11 of the document below and submit it to their employer at least 6 weeks before the planned commencement date.
Clerical officers and caretakers must complete the application form on page 10 of the document and return to their employer at least six weeks before the commencement of the leave.
See the document below.
Teachers and SNAs
Clerical officers and caretakers
Staff other than teachers in ETBs
Queries should be sent in the first instance to firstname.lastname@example.org
for collation and forwarding to Department of Education where appropriate.
Breaks/leave for school staff
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