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Sick Leave

This page gives details of the UCD Sick Leave Scheme effective from 1st September 2014. The changes are due to the implementation of a Circular from the Department of Education and Skills (DES) to Universities and Colleges of Education under the remit of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and an agreement reached between the trade unions and UCD at the Labour Relations Commission. Details the UCD Sick Leave Scheme in effect prior to the 1st September 2014 can be viewed here.


UCD operates a sick pay scheme for staff that are absent due to injury or ill-health. This is one component of the university’s commitment to supporting staff wellbeing and welfare as part of its overall Managing Attendance and Sick Leave Policy

This page provides an overview on how UCD manages certified sick leave taking into account the New Public Service Sick Leave Scheme in the Education Sector with effect from the 1st September 2014.  The scheme provides for the following:

  1. Ordinary Sick Pay
  2. Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration (TRR)
  3. Critical Illness Provisions

As sick leave is recorded from Monday to Friday, there is a requirement to produce a medical certificate if you are absent from work for more than 2 working days. Please refer to the Certified Sick Leave Process for details and review the Examples of Sick Leave Certification Requirements. For Self-Certified Sick Leave process please refer to the Self-Certified Sick Leave page

The information outlined on this webpage will be updated as further information and details are received on certain items from the Department of Education and Skills (DES).

Frequently Asked Questions are outlined in the 'Ask HR' section below, including transition questions and general sick leave questions. 

Staff may view their own sick leave record in 'My Staff Profile' under the HR tab in UCD InfoHub

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Relevant Documents

For UCD Sick Leave Administrators

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Ordinary Sick Pay

If you are a member of staff and absent from work on sick leave from 1st September 2014 you may have access to paid sick leave, subject to the limits that are set out below.

 The new scheme provides for:

  • A maximum of 66 days sick leave on full pay in a year
  • Followed by a maximum of 65 days sick leave on half pay
  • Subject to a maximum of 131 days paid sick leave in a rolling four year period.

In order to determine your rate of pay two reference periods are considered, this is known as  “Dual Look Back”

  • Step 1: Determine whether the individual has access to paid sick leave

The individual’s sick leave is reviewed over the 4 year period from the current date of absence.  If 131 days paid sick leave have not been exhausted over that 4 year period, access may be granted to paid sick leave.

  • Step 2: Determine whether full pay, half pay or TRR apply

If step 1 indicates that the individual has access to paid sick leave, their sick leave record is then reviewed over the 1 year period from the current date of absence to determine the rate at which sick leave may be paid.   If the initial 66 day limit at full pay has not been exhausted, full pay may be awarded until the limit of 66 days is reached.  Thereafter, the amount paid will be calculated based on half pay or TRR, as appropriate.

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All permanent and temporary staff have sick leave entitlements as follows:

During probation a sick leave entitlement up to a maximum of 17 days at full pay and 16 days at half pay in any twelve month period.

Following successful completion of the probationary period this entitlement increases, based on a staff member's individual contract, to a maximum of 66 days at full pay and 65 days at half pay in any rolling four year period.  Pro rata entitlements apply to part-time staff and to those on contracts of less than 4 years duration.

For example, a staff member on a three year contract will be entitled to 49 days sick leave at full pay and 49 days sick leave at half pay at the commencement of the second year of their three year contract. 

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Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration (TRR)

Following periods of sick leave there will be a provision for Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration for individuals who need a longer period of time to address their health needs.

If you have exhausted  131 days paid sick leave in a rolling 4 year period and are absent on sick leave again, you may be granted Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration for a further 392 days.  Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration used to be called “Pension Rate of Pay” and will be calculated in the same way.  Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration will only be available when there is a realistic prospect that you will be able to return to work following your illness.  

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Critical Illness Provisions

If a member of staff becomes seriously injured or critically ill and has supported medical evidence, additional support is available from UCD. The illness/injury will be assessed to for at least one of the following:

  • Acute life threatening illness
  • Chronic progressive illness, with well-established potential to reduce life expectancy.
  • Major physical trauma requiring acute surgery
  • In-patient hospital case of two consecutive weeks or greater.

The criteria for assessing whether someone is eligible for extended sick leave as a result of critical illness or serious physical injury are set out in the Critical Illness Protocol (CIP) - (.pdf UCD Staff Intranet) 

If someone becomes critically ill or has a serious physical injury and is eligible for support under the CIP they may have access to:

  • A maximum of 131 days on full pay in a year
  • Followed by a maximum of  130 days on half pay
  • Subject to a maximum of 261 days paid sick leave in a rolling four year period.

If you  have exhausted 261 days extended paid sick leave under the CIP, you may be considered for a maximum of 261 days Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration in the first instance.  Management may then consider paying TRR for a further period of time not exceeding 522 days.  This is subject to 6 monthly reviews and may only be granted where the occupational health physician has confirmed there is a reasonable prospect of a return to work. 

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Social Welfare Benefits

Staff on A1 PRSI may be entitled to Social Welfare Illness benefit.  Illness Benefit paid to qualifying employees who are absent due to illness is a fully taxable source of income. In all cases employees are required to return Illness Benefit to UCD, irrespective of their UCD Sick Pay Entitlement under the UCD Policy on Sick Leave. Revenue have instructed that all taxable Illness Benefit paid to their registered employees is to be included with earnings in the calculation of payroll. Therefore, the Illness Benefit forwarded to University College Dublin is processed through payroll.

You must apply for Illness Benefit payment within 7 days of becoming ill whether you qualify for benefit or not. No payment is made from Social Protection for the first 6 days of illness which are known as waiting days. When making the claim for benefit, you should indicate on the form that benefit is to be paid to UCD. If any benefit is paid to you, you must forward it to the Payroll Office, Room 118, Tierney Building, UCD, as it must be processed through payroll. This applies without exception if you are in receipt of full pay or reduced pay from University College Dublin. Illness Benefit is not subject to the operation of PRSI or USC and once processed through payroll, employees will benefit from a reduced PRSI and USC charge.

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Overpayment of Sick Leave

If an overpayment of salary due to, for example, the late arrival of a medical certificate, such an overpayment may be recouped from a member of staff’s future payment in accordance with the Payment of Wages Act, 1991. The member of staff will be notified of the amount in writing and recoupment schedule which will normally be within a maximum six month period.

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Pensionability of Sick Leave

During periods of sick leave on half pay, pension contributions will continue to be deducted on the pre-sick leave salary.  This ensures that service will continue to be pensionable during this period.  During periods of sick leave on nil pay, pension contributions will not be deducted and pensionable service will cease. Any period where a staff member is in receipt of Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration will not be reckonable for pension purposes. On return to work, staff can consider purchasing breaks in service under the rules of the notional service plan, if eligible to do so.  A quote can be obtained by emailing

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Part-time Staff

Regular part-time staff are those who (under the terms of the Worker Protection Act, 1991) have been in continuous employment for the same employer for thirteen weeks.  This category has a pro-rata sick leave entitlement similar to that outlined above. 

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Certified Sick Leave Process

This section deals with the steps in Certified Sick Leave Process – the notification of sick leave and claiming social welfare.  The process differs depending on whether you are a staff on Class A PRSI or other than Class A PRSI.


Process for Staff on Class A PRSI

Step 1: Notify your Head of School/Unit/Manager directly within 2 hours of normal starting time.

Step 2: Submit a medical certificate to your line manager on day 3 of illness.

Step 3: Obtain a social welfare illness benefit certificate, called an IB1, from your GP/hospital. 

Step 4: Complete the application form section of the IB1.

In Part 6 please tick the pay to employer box and make the benefit payable to the following account:

UCD Illness Benefit Account
IBAN: IE37AIBK93015613700208
Account Number: 13700208
Sort Code: 93-01-56

  • The UCD Employer’s registered number is 0079124M
  • All social welfare illness benefit certificates should be returned to Social Welfare Services, P.O. Box 1650, Dublin 1
  • Ensure you have signed the declaration.

Step 5: If your illness continues beyond the dates on your initial medical certificate obtain a social welfare illness benefit certificate, called an MC2. This must be done for as long as you are ill.  

Step 6: You will receive a receipt detailing the amount of illness benefit – this is for your own records

Note 1: If you are unsure of your PRSI class please consult your payslip through Employee Self Service
Note 2: Social Welfare illness benefit is calculated on a Monday to Saturday basis, which means that if a Saturday is your 4th day of illness you must follow the above steps.


All other staff

Step 1: Notify your Head of School/Unit/Manager directly within 2 hours of normal starting time.

Step 2: Submit a medical certificate to your line manager on day 3 of illness.


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Sick Leave Administrator

If you are a Sick Leave Administrator please refer to Presentation for Sick Leave Administrators (.PDF UCD Intranet) which outlines changes that affect you and the Sick Leave Administrator Training Manual (.PDF UCD Intranet). 

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Ask HR

  • What are the provisions of the new Sick Leave Scheme?
  • What happens if I have exhausted the maximum of 131 days paid sick leave?
  • How is a deduction from salary for a period of unpaid sick leave calculated?
  • Will disability be classified under the CIP?
  • I am currently on sick leave – what are my entitlements?
  • What effect will the new Scheme have on pregnancy related sick leave?
  • What impact will the new Scheme have on Illness Benefit from Social Protection?
  • What medical appointments are covered?
  • How are previous periods of sick leave managed under the New Scheme?
  • Is Sick Leave reckonable for pension purposes?
  • What happens if I am on study leave and become ill?
  • What if I am on annual leave?
  • What if I want to return to work before the end date of my medical certificate?
  • Who do employees advise if unable to attend work due to illness?
  • If an employee is absent through illness on a Thursday & Friday or a Friday & Monday, how is the sick leave recorded?
  • I am on sick leave during a Public Holiday – what happens?
  • If an employee is absent through illness on a Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, how is the sick leave recorded?
  • If an employee is absent through illness on a Monday, how is the sick leave recorded?
  • What do I do with my IB1 - Illness Benefit and Injury Benefit form?

If you cannot find the information you are looking for please 'Ask HR' by completing this form below.

Your Name: *
Personnel No: (optional)
Your Email: *
Your Telephone: *

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