What is Carer’s Leave in Ireland and why should you need to know about it?

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Carer’s leave is a significant provision in Irish employment law that allows employees to temporarily leave their work to provide full-time care and attention to someone in need. This leave can last anywhere between 13 weeks and 104 weeks, depending on the circumstances. While a carer’s leave is unpaid, it ensures that your job remains secure and available for you upon your return.

To be eligible for carer’s leave, an employee must have been employed by the same employer for at least 12 consecutive months without any breaks. The person the employee intends to care for must require constant care and attention, either due to their personal needs or to ensure their safety. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be a family member or spouse but can be a friend or colleague.


How can Carer’s leave be taken

  • An employee can take the leave in one continuous period or divide it into multiple shorter periods, as long as they don’t exceed a total of 104 weeks.
  • There must be a minimum gap of 6 weeks between each period of leave, unless the employer agrees differently.
  • The minimum period of carer’s leave is 13 weeks


Employment Rights While on Carer’s Leave

During absence on Carer’s Leave, an employee is regarded as still working in the Organisation for all purposes relating to their employment, and none of the employee’s rights or obligations relating to their employment shall be affected, except for the following:

  • Carer’s Leave is unpaid; therefore there is no right to remuneration or superannuation benefits for the duration of the leave.
  • Annual leave is restricted to the first 13-weeks only of your Carer’s Leave and no annual leave will be accrued after this period.
  • Public holiday benefit is likewise restricted to the first 13-weeks of Carer’s Leave



Understanding carer’s leave in Ireland is crucial for employers to navigate their legal obligations and support their employees in fulfilling their caring responsibilities. Carer’s leave provides employees with the opportunity to temporarily leave work and provide full-time care and attention to someone in need. For more detailed information and guidance, contact us today to ensure compliance with carer’s leave regulations.

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