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Time Off/ Holiday

Time Off / Holiday

Working Time Provisions

Minimum annual leave for employees is currently 5.6 weeks (including public holidays), which cannot be replaced by payment in lieu during employment nor can it be carried over to the following year.

Public Service

Employers are obliged to give all employees reasonable time off for public duties including jury service or acting as a local councillor, state school governor or prison visitor. Employers can choose to pay their employees for this time off but do not have to do so.


Individuals facing redundancy must be given reasonable time off for job-hunting and retraining.

Antenatal Care

Any female employee is entitled to take paid time off for antenatal care. Expectant fathers, and partners of pregnant women, may take unpaid time off work to attend two antenatal appointments with the expectant mother.

Parental Leave

Parents of a child under the age of 18 can take up to 18 weeks' unpaid parental leave.

Emergency / Dependants' Leave

Employees with responsibilities for dependants have the right to take 'reasonable' unpaid time off to deal with emergencies involving dependants.

Trade Union Activities

Trade union officials and members must be allowed to take reasonable time off during working time for trade union activities and union safety representatives must be allowed time off to undergo suitable training.

Military Service

Territorial Army volunteers may only take time off with consent and without pay, but Armed Forces Reservists have the right to return to their job at the end of their period of absence.

Acting as a Companion to Another Worker

Workers are entitled to take time off to accompany other workers at disciplinary and grievance proceedings, right to request flexible working hearings and meetings to discuss requests in relation to study or training.

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