Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID19): Special Leave with pay for Teachers and Special Needs Assistants employed in recognised primary and post primary schools

1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus that can cause illness affecting the lungs and airways. Employers and employees should follow the guidance set out by the HSE and/or their doctor.

2. The employer has obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 to ensure the safety and welfare of staff at work.

3. An employer may grant special leave with pay to an employee where appropriate medical or HSE confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis or recommendation to self-isolate is provided, in accordance with the HSE Guidelines.

For further information, please refer to Circular 0049/2020 - Coronavirus (COVID-19): Arrangements for Teachers and Special Needs Assistants. Please also refer to Information Note 0009/2021  with regard to extended special leave with pay due to COVID-19 diagnosis.

NOTE: Partial Re-opening of schools

On 11th February special schools at primary level re-opened. On 22nd February special classes in mainstream primary schools and special schools and special classes in post primary schools re-opened.

On 1st March 2021 , the next phase of the partial re-opening of primary schools takes place to facilitate in-school provision for Junior Infant, Senior Infant, First Class and Second Class pupils.  The Department is cognisant that there may be teachers and SNAs who, due to specific circumstances which exist at this time, may be unable to attend the workplace and require more flexibility in relation to leave arrangements.

Please refer to Information Note 0005/2021 for primary teachers and Information Note 0006/2021 for primary SNAs in relation to temporary leave changes and other arrangement that will apply during this partial re-opening period.  These Information Notes also cater for the temporary arrangements for teachers and SNAs who are at higher risk of COVID-19 during this partial re-opening period.

On 1st March, 2021 the next phase of the partial re-opening of post primary schools takes place to facilitate in-school provision for Leaving Certificate pupils.  The Department is cognisant that there may be teachers and SNAs who, due to specific circumstances which exist at this time, may be unable to attend the workplace and require more flexibility in relation to leave arrangements.

Please refer to Information Note 0007/2021 for post primary teachers and Information Note 0008/2021 for post primary SNAs in relation to temporary leave changes and other arrangement that will apply during this phased re-opening period.  These Information Notes also cater for the temporary arrangements for teachers and SNAs who are at higher risk of COVID-19 during this period of phased return to school.