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What You Should Know

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In Ireland there are nine public holidays each year:

  • New Year’s Day (1st January)
  • St. Patrick’s Day (17th March)
  • Easter Monday
  • The first Monday in May
  • The first Monday in June
  • The first Monday in August
  • The last Monday in October
  • Christmas Day (25th December)
  • St. Stephen’s Day (26th December)

In respect of a public holiday the employee is entitled to whichever of the following his/her employer determines:

  • a) a paid day off on that day
  • b) a paid day off within a month of that day
  • c) an additional day of annual leave
  • d) an additional days pay

Full-time workers have immediate entitlement to benefit for public holidays, and part-time workers have entitlement to benefit when they have worked a total of 40 hours in the previous 5 weeks.

When a person works on a public holiday they are entitled to be paid for the day in accordance with their agreed rates. In addition they also have an entitlement to benefit for the public holiday. This can be different for each public holiday and each employee depending on the individual's work pattern.

If the business is closed on the public holiday and an employee would normally be due to work then they get their normal day's pay.

If the business is open and an employee works, he/she is entitled to either paid time off or an additional day's pay. The additional day's pay is what was paid for the normal daily hours last worked before the public holiday.

If an employee is not normally rostered to work, then they will be entitled to one-fifth of their normal weekly wage extra.

If an employee ceases to be employed during the week before a public holiday, having worked during the 4 weeks preceding that week, he/she is entitled to receive pay for the public holiday.

Where the public holiday falls on a day which is not a normal working day for that business (eg. a Saturday or Sunday) employees still have entitlement to benefit (b,c or d above can be given as the benefit options)

If a person is on temporary lay-off they are entitled to benefit for the public holidays that fall within the first thirteen weeks of lay-off.

A copy of the Act may be viewed or downloaded here – Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997

All employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary or casual, earn annual leave entitlements from the time they start work. Most employees are entitled to four weeks’ paid annual leave per leave year.

Depending on time worked, employees' holiday entitlements should be calculated by one of the following methods:-

  1. 4 working weeks in a leave year in which the employee works at least 1,365 hours (unless it is a leave year in which he or she changes employment)
  2. 1/3 of a working week per calendar month that the employee works at least 117 hours
  3. 8% of the hours an employee works in a leave year (but subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks).

If more than one of the preceding methods at (1), (2) or (3) above is applicable, the employee shall be entitled to whichever method provides the greater entitlement. However the maximum statutory annual leave entitlement of an employee in a leave year is four of his/her normal working weeks.

The employer determines the timing of an employee’s annual leave, taking into consideration work and personal requirements and should consult him/her or the relevant union in advance. Pay for the leave must be given in advance and calculated at the employee’s normal weekly rate.

Accrual of Annual Leave while on Certified Sick Leave:

From 1st August 2015, workers can accrue annual leave when they are on long term sick leave. This means -

  • Statutory annual leave entitlement accrues during a period of certified sick leave.
  • An annual leave carryover period of 15 months after a leave year will apply to those employees who could not, due to illness, take annual leave during the relevant leave year or during the normal carryover period of 6 months.
  • On termination of employment, payment in lieu of untaken accrued annual leave will apply to leave which was untaken as a result of illness in circumstances where the employee leaves the employment within a period of 15 months following the end of the leave year during which the statutory leave entitlement accrued.

These changes were brought about under Section 86(1) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015.

A copy of the relevant Acts may be viewed or downloaded here -

Other relevant legislation includes -


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