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Special leave

What it is

Special leave is granted in certain circumstances, subject to the work requirements of the civil service. In certain other circumstances, the head of department or office can grant special leave without pay at their discretion.

You should note that unpaid leave does not count towards pension calculations. The approvals process varies according to the type of special leave you want to take.

Types of approval required for Special Leave

Manager Approval Required for: Local HR Approval Required for:
Ante & Post Natal Classes Accompany a Spouse Abroad Leave
Bereavement Leave Charitable Organisation Leave
Domestic Leave (unpaid) Civil Defence Leave
Domestic Violence Leave (paid) Emergency Services Leave
Interview Leave (paid) Family Illness Leave
Jury Service Leave Force Majeure
Marriage Leave (paid) Contact with Infectious Disease
Union Business Leave Work with EU/International Organisation
Witness in Court Leave Unpaid Interview Leave
Special Leave for COVID-19 Organ Donation Leave
Medical Care Leave (unpaid) Unpaid Marriage Leave
Reserved Defence Forces Leave
Sporting Leave

Please read this page, which explains the process for each type of leave in turn.

There are some special leave types that are available, but are locally managed on the T&A by line managers or Local HR. For details on these please read the page linked here.

How to apply

To submit an application, you can log into HR self-service. To attach supporting documents, to view progress on an existing case, or to submit a manual application form, you can log into the case management system. Please note: only officers without HR self-service access may submit manual forms.

  • Apply online using HR self-service
  • Enter your self-service user ID and password
  • Select ‘Non-Annual Leave’ and then select the type of leave you want from the drop-down menu (e.g. shorter working year, study leave, etc)
  • Fill out the online form and submit it to your manager for approval
  • If the head of the division approves the application, your manager will submit it to the NSSO. You will then receive a confirmation email confirming your case number.

You are responsible for ensuring that all forms you submit are completed in full. The NSSO may not process incomplete forms.