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Carer's Leave

Page updated 10 July 2024

Carer’s Leave provides for the temporary absence from the college for an employee who wishes to give full-time care and attention to a person requiring it. Below you will find a brief summary of the steps you need to take to apply for Carer's Leave; the form required to make the application and a detailed policy outlining your entitlement.

Carer's Leave Policy

Carer’s leave is available to all employees of the college who have completed one year’s continuous service in UCD. In the case of temporary staff employed under a fixed-term contract of employment, any entitlement to leave or other benefits lasts only as long as the contract of employment lasts. Full criteria for eligibility are outlined in the Carer’s Leave Policy.

The minimum period of leave is 13 weeks and the maximum period is 104 weeks. The Policy sets out the manner in which this may be taken and the application process associated with Carer’s Leave.     

Read the (opens in a new window)Carer's Leave Policy now.

This section contains a summary of a UCD policy, however, in all cases the Policy remains the definitive source of information on the topic.

Carer's Leave Application Process

  • Step 1: At least 12 weeks in advance of your commencement date you will need to apply to the (opens in a new window)Carer's Benefit Section, Department of Social Protection. HR Operations will complete the employer section of the CARB 1 form to support your application. You will not be entitled to take Carer’s Leave until UCD HR receives a copy of this decision and the processing time is quite lengthy.
  • Step 2: At the same time as making the application to the Carer's Benefit Section, Department of Social Protection, you should-
    • Read the university Carer’s Leave Policy
    • Inform your Head of School/Unit that you are applying for this leave.
    • Complete the “Notification of Intention to take Carer’s Leave” form. This must be countersigned by your Head of School/Unit before forwarding it to (opens in a new window)hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie
  • Step 3: You send a copy of the decision reached by the Deciding Officer (Carer's Benefit Section) to enable UCD HR to process your Carer’s Leave application. You will not be entitled to take Carer’s Leave from the college until UCD HR receives a copy of this decision.
  • Step 4: On receipt of the decision from the Carer's Benefit Section, UCD HR will send you the “Carer’s Leave Confirmation Form B” form for your signature.  This form will confirm the following information:
    • The duration of the leave
    • Your carer’s leave dates
    • The date you are due to return to the college following Carer’s Leave
  • Step 5: Once you sign the “Confirmation Form B” return it to (opens in a new window)hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie and a copy of this form will be sent to you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, provided you have one year’s continuous service in the College and you supply HR Operations with a copy of the decision from the Deciding Officer in the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.

Note! If you are employed under a fixed-term or specified-purpose contract, any leave (or any other benefit) will end when the contract ends.

All information relating to carer’s leave is contained within the university's carer’ leave policy. However, if you have any queries arising from reading this policy you can contact (opens in a new window)hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie

You can apply to take carer’s leave in one continuous period of up to 104 weeks or for a number of shorter periods that add up to a maximum of 104 weeks. If you do not take carer’s leave in one continuous period, there must be a gap of at least 6 weeks between each period of carer’s leave. You must give your employer at least 6 weeks’ notice that you plan to take carer’s leave.

The minimum period of carer’s leave you can take is 13 weeks. If you apply for a period of less than 13 weeks, your employer can refuse (if they have good reason). If your employer refuses this leave, they must explain why in writing.

However, you and your employer may agree arrangements for carer’s leave which suit you better.

One award of carer’s leave covers only one person in need of full-time care at any one time. However, if 2 people live together and both need full-time care and attention, you can get carer’s leave for each of them. In this case, the total maximum amount of carer’s leave is 208 weeks (104 for each person in your care).

When your carer’s leave has finished, you must wait 6 months before you can take another period of carer’s leave to care for a different person.

You can work for up to 18.5 hours a week in employment or self-employment while you are on carer’s leave, as long as you don't earn over €350 per week after tax. (This is your take-home pay after deductions such as tax, PRSI and union dues.) The hours limit increased from 15 hours to 18.5 hours in January 2020.

Alternatively, you can attend an educational or training course or do voluntary work for a maximum of 18.5 hours a week.

Before commencing work or training, it must be  approved by the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.

While you are out of the house, the person you are caring for must be well looked after. You can read more on citizensinformation.ie  (opens in a new window)Carer’s Benefit web page (external website).

Yes, provided it has been approved by your Head of School/Unit

Note: You will only accrue annual leave and public holidays for the first thirteen weeks of absence from work on carer’s leave for each relevant person.

If you want to take unpaid leave from employment for less than the 13-week minimum set down by the Carer’s Leave Act, you may be able to arrange this with your employer. You and your employer must agree the plan in writing, clearly stating the date when you will start the leave and when you will return to work.

You will need to contact the PRSI records section in the Department of Social Protection yourself to ensure you keep up your social insurance record during this leave.

Contact the HR Helpdesk

The HR Helpdesk is the primary point of contact for all your employment-related queries by email and telephone.  We are here to help you with any queries on employee benefits, terms & conditions and HR policies & procedures. If we can’t help you directly, we will refer your query to a HR specialist area.

All visitors to UCD HR, Roebuck offices should be by appointment only and arrangements to be made with specific HR staff members.

(opens in a new window)hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie

+ 353-1-716-4900

Roebuck Offices,
UCD Belfield Campus.

UCD Human Resources

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4900 | E: hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)