Table of contents
- 1. Paid sick leave
- 2. Certified sick leave
- 3. Medical and social welfare certificates
- 4. Lodging medical and social welfare certs
- 5. What to do when you return to work
- 6. What self-certified sick leave is
- 7. Eligibility
- 8. How to apply for self-certified sick leave
- 9. Health appointments
- 10. Antenatal medical appointments during working hours
- 11. Doctor/dentist/hospital appointments
- 12. Living kidney donor pre-donation hospital appointments during working hours
- 13. Public service sick leave scheme
- 14. If you have a critical illness or serious injury
- 15. Temporary rehabilitation remuneration
- 16. How to apply
The administrative arrangements for the Civil Service are set out in circular 05/2018 and must be read in conjunction with the regulations.
Under the Public Service Sick Leave Scheme, you are entitled to the following payment if you are absent from work due to illness or injury:
- A maximum of 92 days on full pay in a rolling one-year period
- Followed by a maximum of 91 days on half pay in a rolling one-year period
- Subject to a maximum of 183 days paid sick leave in a rolling four-year period
As an employee, you must contact your line manager by phone before 10am to say you will be absent due to illness (shift workers should give at least one hour’s notice before the start of the shift). Your manager will then notify the NSSO by submitting an online absence form through HR self-service.
You and your manager will then receive automatic email notifications to confirm that the NSSO has received the information.
You must submit all supporting documentation (for example: doctor certificates) to the NSSO. For information about how to submit your certs, or for any query about using the online system, consult this how-to guide.
On returning to work, you need to fill out a section of the resumption of work form on HR self-service and submit it to your manager for completion. Your clock may not be updated until the NSSO receives this form.
Your local time and attendance system will be updated following arrangements between the NSSO and your department or office. You must have an approved resumption of work form to update the HRMS system.
Note: The NSSO monitors self-certified sick leave and long-term absences. Appropriate measures will be taken if there is excessive absenteeism.
When a staff member advises you that they are sick and unable to come to work, you are responsible for notifying the NSSO, preferably by using an online absence form on the manager section of HR self-service.
If a staff member does not contact you about their absence, you should try to contact them. If you are unable to do so, then you should contact their next of kin before the end of the second day of their unauthorised absence. If you don’t have the employee’s contact details, then you should bring their absence to the attention of your local HR unit and ask them to contact the employee.
You and the staff member will receive an automatic email notification to confirm that the NSSO has received the absence information.
When the staff member returns to work, they must fill out their section of the resumption of work form and submit it to you for completion. You will have a ‘return to work’ conversation with your staff member, if required, and submit the form to the NSSO.
The staff member’s time and attendance system will be updated as per arrangements made between the NSSO and their department or office.
If you need help in using the online system, consult this how-to guide.
You need to have a medical cert from a medical practitioner where your sick leave is recorded as a certified absence, no matter how long it lasts. All illnesses longer than two consecutive working days, or where an illness includes both Friday and Monday, require a medical cert.
Every employee, no matter when they were first hired, must submit a medical certificate by the third day of every certified absence and every seven days after that. A monthly medical certificate may be acceptable in certain circumstances. Local HR will approve this or not. Please see the ‘employee’s responsibility’ section above to find out what details you need to provide.
You will need to contact your line manager by telephone before 10am (or, if you are a shift-worker, at least 1 hour before the start of the shift) to inform them that you will be absent due to illness. Your manager will then notify HR Services using an online absence form submitted through HR self-service.
As per the sick leave regulations outlined on this page, all civil servants need to send their doctor’s (white) medical certs to the NSSO on a weekly basis.
With each medical cert sent to HR Services, you also need to confirm you have submitted a claim form for illness benefit (IB1) if you are subject to Class A PRSI. The template below can be included in the email when sending medical certs or can be printed and sent in hard copy form.
I, ______________________________________________(PPSN:________________), hereby confirm that I have sent Completed Illness Benefit Forms, properly mandated to my Employer to the Department of Social Protection for my Sick Leave Absence of ___/____/20___.
You can submit your certs in these ways:
1. Snap and send
Take a picture of the cert on your smartphone or mobile device and forward it to email@example.com
2. Scanned copy
Email a scanned copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
All common file formats are acceptable, including pdf, photo, jpeg. In your email, please include your PPS number and one of the following: date of birth and/or business email address.
Please note that we will check your medical cert to make sure it includes these details:
- Doctor’s full name and signature
- Doctor’s medical council registration number (IMC)
- Doctor or clinic stamp
If the NSSO can’t identify your doctor on the medical council register, we will contact you about this.
You can still send hard copies of medical certs by post using a stamped addressed envelope to the following address:
HR Services, National Shared Services Office, Building 5, Belfield Office Park, Beech Hill Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, D04 A9P2.
Please keep the original medical certificate for your own records. You need to include this cover sheet and include with your documents.
As outlined in the section above, you must fill out a resumption of work online form. If you don’t know how to do this, consult the how-to guide.
If you have a general question on medical and social welfare certificates, or you have a query about your case, you can submit a question on the case management system.
Where you are absent from work due to illness, but don’t visit a doctor, this is self-certified sick leave.
Self-certified sick leave cannot be more than two consecutive days on any one occasion. On returning to work, you must then self-certify that you were unfit to attend work due to illness.
You need a certificate from a medical practitioner if:
- your absence is more than two consecutive working days
- it includes both Friday and Monday, spanning a weekend
- you have exceeded your self-certified sick leave limit which is more than seven days in a rolling 24 months.
Your sick leave record may be examined if you are being considered for promotion, higher scale assignments and transfers between departments.
You will need to contact your line manager by telephone before 10am (or, if you are a shift-worker, at least 1 hour before the start of the shift) to inform them that you will be absent due to illness. Your manager will then notify the NSSO using an online absence form submitted through HR self-service.
Immediately on return to work, you must complete a resumption of work form on your HR self-service containing the self-certification statement of your unfitness for duty. You need to submit this to your manager for completion.
If you have a general question about self-certified sick leave, or you have a query about your case, you can raise a question on the case management system.
You are entitled to take certain health appointments during work hours, but you should try and arrange them outside core time where it’s possible to do so. This section covers what health appointments you are entitled to take.
You are entitled to attend antenatal medical appointments during working hours.
When you are applying to have your flexi record reconciled after such appointments, you can claim for the duration of the appointment and the travel time to and from the appointment.
You may be asked to give evidence of your medical appointment.
If you are absent due to attending a doctor/dental/hospital appointment for either a full day or a half-day (either morning or afternoon), this is recorded as sick absence.
If you have attended work before or after the appointment, you can claim time for a sick absence on the following basis:
If you attend a health appointment in the morning without clocking before 12.30pm, you must claim this as a half day’s sick leave.
If you have attended for a reasonable time (i.e. around one hour) up to 12.30pm, you will receive core time credit of morning attendance has been recorded before or after the absence in question. You must also be clocked in by 1.30 pm to reclaim the credit.
If you attend a health appointment in the afternoon without clocking during the afternoon (up to 5.00pm), you must claim this as a half day’s sick leave.
However, core time credit until 4.00 p.m. will be given provided a reasonable (i.e. around one hour) period of afternoon attendance has been recorded prior to or after the absence in question. You must be clocked in until at least 1.15 pm in order to reclaim the credit.
If you do not attend work at all during the day of a health appointment, then this is classed as one full day of sick leave. Your manager must report it to the NSSO via their HR self-service.
Civil servants participating in the Living Donor Programme are entitled to attend pre-donation hospital appointments during working hours without loss of pay.
You must notify your line manager of the dates and times of such appointments to be allowed time off from work.
When you are applying to have your flexi record reconciled after such appointments, you may claim for the duration of the appointment and the travel time to and from the appointment.
You may need to give evidence of your medical appointment if requested.
Please note: Where you are absent due to a health appointment confirmation of the appointment alone is not sufficient. You must have evidence of attendance from the relevant hospital, clinic, or medical practitioner, which you need to submit to the NSSO.
This section lists the acts, regulations, and arrangements for sick leave in the public service and civil service.
The Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Act 2013 gives the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the power to make regulations that will set out specific details of the new Sick Leave Scheme for the Public Service.
The details of this Scheme are set out in Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations (SI 124 of 2014) , Public Service Management (Sick Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 384 of 2015) and circular 05/2018.
A guide to sick regulations is available and you should read it in conjunction with the regulations.
Sometimes, you may need a longer period of sick leave because of a critical illness or serious physical injury.
The critical illness protocol sets out the criteria you must meet to be granted access to critical illness provisions. The occupational physician, or Chief Medical Officer will advise whether, in their opinion, your case meets the following criteria:
You are medically unfit to return to your current duties or (where practicable) modified duties in the same pay grade
The nature of this medical condition has at least one of the following characteristics:
- Acute life-threatening physical illness
- Chronic progressive illness, with well-established potential to reduce life expectancy
- Major physical trauma ordinarily requiring corrective acute operative surgical treatment
- In-patient or day hospital care of ten consecutive days or greater. (For pregnancy-related or assisted pregnancy-related illness, the requirement for hospitalisation of ten consecutive days reduces to two or more consecutive days of in-patient hospital/clinic care.)
In these exceptional circumstances, you can apply for the following:
- A maximum of 183 days on full pay in a rolling one-year period
- Followed by a maximum of 182 days on half pay in a rolling one-year period
- Subject to a maximum of 365 days’ paid sick leave in a rolling four-year period.
Temporary rehabilitation remuneration (TRR) used to be known as Pension Rate of Pay (PRP). It is calculated and awarded in the same way. You need to have five or more years’ service to qualify for TRR. It is only payable when there is a realistic prospect of you returning to work. The main difference between PRP and TRR is that the maximum period for which TRR can be paid is 547 days under ordinary sick leave arrangements.
You can access TRR under the critical illness provisions as follows:
- 365 days on TRR
- You may be granted a further period of no more than 730 days in cases where the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has confirmed that there is a reasonable prospect of a return to work. Such cases must directly relate to the critical illness and will normally follow a continuous period of long-term sick leave. This is subject to reviews every six months.
If you want to apply for CIP, you must fill out the CIP application form and submit it to your HR manager.
The HR manager in your department or office will decide to grant extended sick leave for a critical illness or serious physical injury. Their decision is based on the CMO’s medical advice.
Letter to Personnel Officers Payment of Travel & Sub for CMO Visits
Circular 22/07: Ill Health Retirement
Circular 01/82: Sick Leave Arising from Accidents on Duty
Department of Finance Office Notice 41/14: Updated Scheme of Flexible Working Hours