Unsure how to handle situations where an employee’s leave falls on a public holiday? What about different types of employment? Here’s our handy guide to help you.

In the Republic of Ireland, there are nine designated public holidays that an employee is entitled to:

  • New Year’s Day
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Easter Monday
  • The first Monday in May
  • The first Monday in June
  • The first Monday in August
  • The last Monday in October
  • Christmas Day
  • St. Stephen’s Day

All full-time employees are entitled to annual leave irrespective of their length of employment with that particular employer – but the problem lies with the entitlements of part-time employees.

Generally speaking, a casual employee who’s worked for at least 40 hours in the last 5 weeks would be entitled to the public holidays of the State. These 5 weeks include the week ending on the day before the Public Holiday.

Protected leave

It’s important to note that an employee continues to accrue public holidays as normal during protected leaves such as:

  • Maternity leave
  • Adoptive leave
  • Parental leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Force majeure leave

The same would also apply to additional maternity and adoptive leave.

Other circumstances

While on carer’s leave, a career break or in a temporary lay-off situation, an employee accrues public holidays only during the first 13 weeks of their leave. An employee continues to accrue public holidays while on their full period of annual leave as well.

As an employer, it’s also worth bearing in mind that when an employee is on jury service, he or she continues to accrue public holidays.

During authorised sickness absence due to non-occupational illness, an employee continues to accrue leave during the first 26 weeks. Contrary to this, when there’s an absence due to occupational illness or at injury at the workplace, the employee would accrue public holidays during the first 52 weeks.

Conversely, an employee is not entitled to public leave for the period exceeding 52 weeks of occupational or 26 weeks of non-occupational illness. Also, when exceeding 13 weeks of a temporary layoff situation, or when engaged in a strike action, an employee ceases to accrue public holidays. Additionally, while on Health and Safety leave an employee does not accrue public holidays.

An interesting proposition of the Organisation Working Time Act 1997 states that if the employment ceases on the week before the Public Holiday, and the employee has worked at least 40 hours in the last 4 weeks, the employee will be entitled to the same even when their employment has ceased.

If you have any questions regarding the issues in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact our 24 Hour Advice Service on 01 855 50 50.