Holidays and holiday pay

Guidance on holidays and holiday pay in the Republic of Ireland.

All employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary or casual, earn annual leave entitlements from the time they start work. Most employees are entitled to four weeks' paid annual leave per leave year, according to the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.

Depending on time worked, employees' holiday entitlements should be calculated by one of the following methods:-

  1. 4 working weeks in a leave year in which the employee works at least 1,365 hours (unless it is a leave year in which s/he changes employment)
  2. 1/3 of a working week per calendar month that the employee works at least 117 hours
  3. 8% of the hours an employee works in a leave year (but subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks).

If more than one of the preceding methods at (1), (2) or (3) above is applicable, the employee shall be entitled to whichever method provides the greater entitlement. However the maximum statutory annual leave entitlement of an employee in a leave year is four of his/her normal working weeks.

The employer determines the timing of an employee's annual leave, taking into consideration work and personal requirements and should consult him/her or the relevant union in advance. Pay for the leave must be given in advance and calculated at the employee's normal weekly rate.

Accrual of Annual Leave while on Certified Sick Leave:

Workers can accrue annual leave when they are on long term sick leave. This means –

  • Statutory annual leave entitlement accrues during a period of certified sick leave.
  • An annual leave carryover period of 15 months after a leave year will apply to those employees who could not, due to illness, take annual leave during the relevant leave year or during the normal carryover period of 6 months.
  • On termination of employment, payment in lieu of untaken accrued annual leave will apply to leave which was untaken as a result of illness in circumstances where the employee leaves the employment within a period of 15 months following the end of the leave year during which the statutory leave entitlement accrued.

These changes were brought about under Section 86(1) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015.