See also ‘Holiday Pay’ – Annual leave may be defined as time off work for employees to allow for rest and relaxation. Annual leave entitlements are governed by the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, which sets out that the minimum annual leave entitlement  for employees can be calculated using one of the following methods;

  • 4 working weeks in a leave year in which he or she works at least 1,365 hours (unless it is a leave year in which he or she changes employment)
  • one-third of a working week for each month in the leave year in which he or she works at least 117 hours in that month
  • 8% per cent or higher depending on the full-time equivalent of the hours he or she works in a leave year (but subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks)
  • The annual leave of an employee who works for 8 months or more in the annual leave year can include an unbroken period of two weeks.

An employer cannot offer annual leave entitlements below what is set in the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. However, an employer can contract to provide a greater annual leave entitlement and, if so, then this contractual term must be complied with. Annual leave may not be given in place of sick leave. The allocation of annual leave is at the employer’s discretion while having reasonable regard for employees’ personal circumstances.