COVID 19 special leave with pay
- Adoptive and Surrogacy Leave
- Annual Leave
- Career Break
- Carer's Leave
- Bereavement Leave
- Family Related Leave
- Force Majeure Leave
- Jury Service
- Managing Attendance & Sick Leave
- Maternity Leave
- Parental Leave
- Parents Leave
- Paternity Leave
- Research Sabbatical Leave
- Sick Leave
- Study & Exam Leave
- Shorter working year
Page updated 10 August 2022
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:
- Details on Different Levels and Current Level of Restrictions in place in Ireland (Gov.ie website).
- Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers/Employees during COVID-19 contains detailed information for Public Service employers/employees on work arrangements, processes and procedures arising due to inability to work/travel due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Advice (DFA website) and Government COVID-19 -Travel Advice - contains the most up-to-date information on travel (essential and non-essential) for all during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- HSE information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) contains detailed information on all medical aspects of the Virus – requirements to self-isolate, restrict movements etc.
- Health and Safety Authority Guidance on Working from Home contains the most up-to-date guidelines for Employers/Employees from the HSA on Working from home.
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 information available at the above links.
Special Leave with Pay - FAQ
The purpose of the UCD FAQs is to address any queries that may be specific to UCD or may arise around UCD processes or procedures impacted by COVID-19. The FAQ document will be added to in the event of new queries being submitted to email@example.com or through the HR Partners/Employee Relations teams.
1. Are there any changes to the UCD as a result of COVID-19?
- Normal Procedures for notification of all absences due to illness should be followed (COVID or NON-COVID related).
- In relation to COVID-19 absences some additional steps/forms have been introduced - see below for requirements.
- Please note that in order to avail of COVID-19 related Special Leave with Pay, you must complete the COVID 19 - Special Leave with pay form
2. When does Special Leave with Pay apply during COVID-19 in relation to sick leave?
Special Leave with Pay only applies in lieu of sick leave for COVID-19 when an employee is required to self-isolate, is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and is either:
- awaiting a test result
- had a positive PCR / Antigen test which has been registered on the HSE portal.
The HSE sets out the latest criteria for self-isolation on their website . In order to avail of special leave with pay evidence is required in the form of a PCR test result or antigen test result registered on the HSE portal. While public health advice no longer requires testing for certain groups, individuals can still access the HSE portal to register antigen test results. Special leave with pay for COVID-19 in all sectors does not apply in any other scenarios.
3. In the two scenarios above, is there a limit on the number of days of Special Leave with Pay?
Since 7 February 2022, in instances where an employee is symptomatic and subsequently has a confirmed case of COVID-19, special leave with pay may continue for up to 10 calendar days if necessary and where it is supported by a positive PCR test for COVID-19 or a positive antigen test registered on the HSE portal. If an employee is still unwell after 10 calendar days they will move to ordinary sick leave arrangements.
From 1 July 2022, Special Leave With Pay will change for all cases. SLWP will apply for the duration of the stated self-isolation period only (whatever duration is in place at the time of the absence, currently 7 calendar days). From 1 July 2022 any periods of COVID19 related illness which extend beyond the stated self-isolation period will be treated as ordinary sick leave.
4 I am a staff member who has been advised by my GP to self-isolate, or I am awaiting testing / a diagnosis, is there anything I need to do?
In addition to following all the advice being issued by the HSE regarding self-isolation for those persons who are symptomatic / awaiting PCR test results, and you are unable to work, you are required to fill out the COVID 19 - Special Leave with pay form and send to your Line Manager
Line Manager should confirm dates etc and email the form to the firstname.lastname@example.org
5 I have received a positive PCR/antigen test result, what should I do?
Follow all the health advice issued to you upon diagnosis.
If your positive diagnosis is by way of an antigen test, in order to avail of Special Leave with Pay, you must report your positive antigen test result online to the HSE.
You must update your Line Manager accordingly to confirm the diagnosis.
If you were already on Special Leave with Pay due to Self-Isolation, this will become Special Leave with Pay due to the COVID-19 diagnosis. Appropriate medical confirmation text message confirming positive PCR test result or confirmation of your registration of your positive antigen result to the HSE will be required retrospectively. This will be recorded locally as special leave with pay on your attendance record. The application of special leave with pay will apply for the required number of days as advised by the HSE/doctor. This period will not count as part of your sick leave record. If you are sill unwell after you have completed the necessary isolation period you will move to ordinary sick leave arrangements. For more detailed information see the Government Guidance document above. If you are symptomatic but continue to work remotely, the above does not apply.
6 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 retrospectively.
- If Special Leave with Pay is applicable, ensure your team member completes the Special Leave with Pay Form and record the absence as special leave with pay on the employee’s attendance record and email form to email@example.com
- In the event that the sick leave extends beyond initial medical certification, ensure ongoing medical certification is received.
- If sick leave extends beyond the relevant isolation period, the absence should then be recorded as ordinary sick leave.
7. 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 (whatever duration is in place at the time of the absence).
8. If I have tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR / Antigen test but feel well enough to work / I am self-isolating because I have symptoms, can I work instead of availing of special leave with pay?
If feasible and agreeable to 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.
9. My PCR / Antigen test was negative, what do I do?
This means that coronavirus (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. Relevant updates should be sent to UCD HR, by email to HRHelpdesk@ucd.ie, This is to ensure that your HR record is accurate.
If you are unable to work remotely in the above scenario, the absence is recorded as ordinary sick leave from the date of the negative PCR / Antigen result to the date of return to work.
10. My PCR / Antigen test was negative but I am feeling unwell, is this absence Special Leave with Pay, or normal sick leave?
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.
Special leave with pay will apply from the date of your absence up to the date of your negative PCR / Antigen test result. If you continue to be unwell following this date, and are unable to work remotely, normal sick leave rules apply.