Your entitlement to annual leave or holidays from work is set out in legislation and in your contract of employment.
In the case of agency employees, the party who pays the wages (employment agency or client company) is the employer for the purposes of the Act and is responsible for providing the entitlement.
Taking annual leave
The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides for a basic annual paid leave entitlement of 4 weeks, although an employee's contract could give greater rights.
It is for your employer to decide when annual leave may be taken, but this is subject to a number of conditions. Your employer must take into account your family responsibilities, opportunities for rest and recreation that are available to you and to consult with you (or your union) at least one month before the leave is to be taken. In addition, annual leave should be taken within the appropriate leave year or with your consent, within 6 months of the relevant leave year. Further holding over (also known as carrying-over) of annual leave at your wish is a matter for agreement between you and your employer.
Holiday pay: Pay in respect of annual leave is paid in advance at the normal weekly rate. If your pay varies because, for example, of commission or bonus payments,
Annual leave and sick leave
If you are ill while you are on annual leave, you should get a medical certificate from your family doctor (GP) as soon as possible to cover the days that you were sick and give this to your employer as soon as you return to work. In this way, the sick days will not count as annual leave and will be available to you at a later date. An employer cannot require you to take annual leave for a certified period of illness.
Since 1 August 2015, you accumulate statutory annual leave entitlement during a period of certified sick leave. Employees on long-term sick leave can retain annual leave they could not take due to illness for up to 15 months after the end of the year in which it is accrued.
Annual leave and other leave
Annual leave is not affected by other leave provided for by law. Time spent on maternity leave, adoptive leave, parental leave, force majeure leave and the first 13 weeks of carer's leave is treated as though you have been in employment and this time can be used to accumulate annual leave entitlement - see 'Calculating annual leave' below.
Annual leave and leaving employment
It is illegal under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 for an employer to pay an allowance in lieu of the minimum statutory holiday entitlement of an employee unless the employment relationship is terminated. In general, your annual leave is calculated on the basis of hours worked.
If you are leaving a job you are entitled to receive payment for any outstanding annual leave and public holidays due to you.
Under Section 19 (1) of the
An employee may use whichever of these methods
An employee who has worked for at least 8 months is entitled to an unbroken period of 2 weeks' annual leave.
Part-time work: Generally, the annual leave for part-time workers is calculated using the 3rd method, that is, 8% of hours worked. If you work full time for some months and the rest of the year you work
You can find out more about annual leave in this explanatory booklet on holidays and public holidays (pdf) or from the Workplace Relations Commission's Information and Customer Service - see 'Where to apply' below.
If you are not getting your holiday entitlement you may make a complaint under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 within 6 months of the dispute or complaint occurring. You must use the online complaint form available on
Workplace Relations Commission - Information and Customer Service
Information and Customer Service
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to
Tel: (059) 917 8990