Your HR Questions Answered

We aim to give our readers and followers the best advice when it comes to managing people effectively. Every month you can read a digest of some HR questions that might be relevant for you.

With the summer (hopefully) and the May bank holiday approaching soon, here are some questions and answers to consider:

Q: Can an employee request a two-week unbroken leave period?

A: Yes, provided they have worked for at least 8 months they are entitled to an unbroken period of 2 weeks’ annual leave.

Q:  What happens if an employee is sick on a public holiday?

A: If you are a fulltime worker who is on certified sick leave during a public holiday, you are entitled to benefit for the public holiday you missed. If you are a part-time worker on certified sick leave during a public holiday, you would be entitled to time off work for the public holiday provided you worked for your employer at least 40 hours in the previous 5-week period.

However, you are not entitled to the public holiday if you are absent from work immediately before the public holiday and you have been off work for more than 26 weeks due to an ordinary illness or accident, or for more than 52 weeks due to an occupational accident.

Q: If an employee comes back from their annual leave and produces a sick cert from their doctor what do I do?

A: If an employee becomes ill during their annual leave and provides a medical cert for the days they were ill, these sick days will not be counted as annual leave days. You cannot require an employee to take annual leave for a certified period of illness.

Q: If an employee is off work on certified sick days, are they still accruing annual leave days?

A: An amendment to the Workplace Relations Act 2015 made changes to how statutory annual leave is managed when an employee is on certified sick leave. These changes took effect on 1 August 2015 and include:

  • An employee’s annual statutory leave entitlement continues to build up during a period of certified sick leave.
  • An employee, who due to illness cannot take annual leave during the relevant leave year or the normal carryover period of 6 months, is entitled to an extended carryover period of 15 months after the leave year to take their accrued annual leave.
  • If an employee leaves their job they are entitled to payment in lieu for any annual leave that accrued and was untaken as a result of illness. This payment in lieu only applies if you leave your employment up to 15 months after the end of the leave year during which the statutory leave entitlement accrued.

We have a team of trained and skilled investigators and consultants who have extensive experience in this area and would be happy to discuss any issue of concern with you. Just email us on or call Ingrid on 01 5252914.

Kate Siberry, HR Executive, Voltedge Management