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Ireland Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation Days (Annual Leave), Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 17, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Ireland

Vacation (Annual Leave) Quota

20 days

Employees in Ireland working full-time are entitled to at least 20 days of paid annual leave (paid vacation). Although basic holiday leave is 20 days, an employment contract may offer more generous benefits. Part-time employees have their vacation entitlement equivalent to 8% of their worked hours.

With 20 days of paid vacation for employees, Ireland has leave laws similar to those in Germany, Serbia, and other countries’ leave policies in Europe. However, certain countries require more vacation days, such as Finland (25 days), France (25), and the United Kingdom leave laws (28 days).

In Ireland, vacation days are called “annual leave” or “holidays.” For the purpose of this article, we are using these terms interchangeably.

Carry Over

Allowed, up to 6 months of the following year.

Vacation days are to be taken within the assigned year, or within six months after that year if the employee desires so. The option to carry over vacation days beyond this period is subject to an employee’s request and requires their employer’s approval.

Payout of Vacation

Normal weekly rate.

Vacation days are paid at the same rate as the regular salary.

Sick Leave in Ireland

5 sick days in 2024

Although there was no legal sick leave entitlement until 2023, employees in Ireland are now entitled to paid sick days.

In 2023, employees were entitled to 3 days of paid sick leave.

This entitlement grows each following year and is as follows:

  • In 2024, employees are entitled 5 sick days.
  • In 2025, there will be 7 sick days.
  • In 2026 and after: 10 sick days.

Sick days may be used either in a continuous manner or on separate days.

Companies are free to provide more sick days than the legal minimum.

Payout

Sick leave is paid by the employer at a rate of 70% of the employee’s regular daily wages, up to a daily ceiling that is set by the government each year. Part-time employees are also entitled to the same number of paid sick leave days, as sick days are not prorated.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Ireland

26 weeks

Employees in Ireland are entitled to up to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave (156 days). The law requires that a minimum of 2 weeks of this leave be taken before the due date and at least 4 weeks after it.

New mothers also have the option to take an extra 16 weeks of unpaid maternity leave on top of the 26 initial paid weeks.

This additional part of the maternity leave must start as soon as the first 26 weeks are over.

Payout

Employers are not required to provide any maternity allowance, but some employers choose to do so nonetheless. To be eligible for the government-provided maternity allowance, a mother must have made enough contributions to social insurance. The amount an employee receives as maternity allowance depends on their seniority in the company and the level of their social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

Ireland’s government body, PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance), pays for these benefits.

Paternity Leave in Ireland

2 weeks

An employee who is a partner of a mother that has given birth may take 2 weeks of paternity leave. This leave must be used within 6 months of the childbirth.

A partner may be considered:

  • A child’s biological father
  • A partner of the mother (legal spouse, cohabitant, or civil partner)
  • The parent of a child conceived through donor assistance

Payout

Employers are not required to compensate for paternity absence; however, employees might qualify for paternity benefits paid by the government. The same as for mothers, the exact amount of paternity allowance depends on their seniority and contributions to social insurance (PRSI).

Parental Leave in Ireland

26 weeks

Parents in Ireland may take up to 26 weeks of parental leave without a pay for any of the children under 12 years, provided they have been working in the company for at least 1 full year.

Bereavement Leave in Ireland

No legal obligation for bereavement leave.

Although at the present moment in Ireland there’s no statutory bereavement leave entitlement, most employers choose to provide 3 to 5 days of paid leave due to the death of a close family member.

Jury Duty Leave in Ireland

Required by law.

Full-time employees are entitled to unpaid leave to serve as jurors, defendants, and plaintiffs, or to appear as witnesses in court. As proof of this requirement, an employee must present, as soon as applicable, a copy of their jury summons.

During jury duty leave, job positions and all other employment rights of an employee are protected.

Payout

The court will provide a specific amount of payment, and the employer can choose to provide any additional payment.

Military Leave in Ireland

Military leave is not specified by law.

Voting Leave in Ireland

Voting leave is not specified by law.

Public Holidays in Ireland for 2024

10 public holidays

There are 10 national public holidays in Ireland. Those that fall on weekends are typically shifted to a weekday as compensatory time off.

Part-time employees receive 1/5 of their total weekly working hours as compensation for a public holiday that falls on a day they do not work. For instance, if they work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for 5 hours each day and Christmas falls on a Monday, they are entitled to the following: 3x5 = 15, then 15/5 = 3 hours of holiday compensation. To have this benefit, a part-time employee must have worked at least 40 hours in the period of 5 weeks prior to the holiday.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Ireland:
Holiday Observed in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
St Brigid’s Day Monday, February 5 1st Monday in February
Saint Patrick’s Day Sunday, March 17 March 17
Easter Monday Monday, April 1 1st Monday in September
Early May Bank Holiday Monday, May 6 1st Monday in May
June Bank Holiday Monday, Jun 3 1st Monday in June
August Bank Holiday Monday, August 5 1st Monday in August
October Bank Holiday Monday, October 28 Last Monday in October
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25
St. Stephen’s Day Thursday, Dec. 26 Day After Christmas

Good Friday isn’t considered a legal public holiday, although some businesses and schools are closed on that holiday.

Sources

  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/ireland

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Ireland, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/ireland/

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Ireland, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/Ireland

  4. Public holidays and employment rights: The Workplace Relations Commission, https://www.workplacerelations.ie/en/what_you_should_know/public-holidays/

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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