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COVID 19 special leave with pay

Page updated 10 January 2024

Covid-19 Special Leave With Pay

(opens in a new window)Special leave with pay is currently used in lieu of sick leave for COVID-19 to assist in the prevention of the possible onward spread of COVID-19 at work. Any special leave with pay granted following a positive COVID-19 test result will not be counted as part of an employee’s sick leave record.


1. I have tested positive for Covid-19, what do I need to do?

2. When does Special Leave with Pay apply during COVID-19 in relation to sick leave?

Special Leave with Pay applies in lieu of sick leave for COVID-19 when an employee has had a positive test for COVID-19. In order to avail of special leave with pay, a photo of a positive antigen test is required with a signed declaration COVID 19 - Special Leave with pay form. Special leave with pay for COVID-19 does not apply in any other scenario.

3. Is there a limit on the number of days of Special Leave with Pay?

From 8 May 2023, SLWP will apply for the duration of the stated self-isolation period which is currently 5 calendar days. A photo of a positive antigen test must be submitted with your SLWP application form.

4. I am a Line Manager/HOS/Unit and one of my team has advised me that they have tested positive, what do I do?

  • Ensure your team member submits the appropriate medical confirmation. 
  • If Special Leave with Pay is applicable, ensure you and your team member completes the  COVID 19 - Special Leave with pay form, the absence is recorded in Core/PeopleXD and email the form to (opens in a new window)sickleave@ucd.ie    
  • If the sick leave extends beyond the relevant isolation period (currently 5 calendar days), the absence should then be recorded as ordinary sick leave.

5. If I am still unwell and unable to work after the relevant isolation period because of a confirmed case of COVID-19, do I revert to ordinary sick leave arrangements?

Yes.  Special Leave with pay only applies for the duration of the stated self-isolation period only (currently 5 calendar days).

6. If I have tested positive for COVID-19 but feel well enough to work and am self-isolating because I have symptoms, can I work instead of availing of special leave with pay?

If feasible and agreeable to the employee and employer, you may work remotely but you cannot attend the work premises.  You must follow medical and HSE advice relevant to your situation.

7. My antigen test was negative, what do I do?

This means that COVID-19 has not been found in your sample. If you were tested because you had symptoms of coronavirus, you should continue to self-isolate until you have not had any symptoms for 48 hours. If your symptoms continue or get worse, phone your GP.  If you are unfit to work, this absence should be recorded as ordinary sick leave.

If you are 48 hours without symptoms, you can return to your normal activities however you must update your Line Manager in advance.  

8. I am a close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 - what do I do?

Special leave with pay does not apply to employees who are required to restrict their movements as they are not ill. Follow (opens in a new window)relevant advice from the HSE on close contacts

Further Information

UCD as a Public Service Employer is required to adhere to all government directives/circulars in relation to working arrangements for Public Servants. Those of specific relevance currently are:

In light of changing circumstances, the documents and information available at these links are being regularly updated and provide you with the most up-to-date information from the Government on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

If you have a query, your first reference point should be to review the information available at the above links.

Contact HR Operations - Sick Leave

HR Operations have a dedicated channel (separate from the HR Helpdesk) for the management of all sick leave-related issues and queries. This dedicated channel for employees and managers limits access to queries to only those specifically involved in the management of sick leave and supports the importance of data privacy.

(opens in a new window)sickleave@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)