CARER’S LEAVE ACT 2001 SHORT VERSION
My father is seriously ill and requires full-time care at the moment. I have been employed for nine years in the same job under a Contract of Employment. My mother died five years ago and I have one brother living in Ireland. He works between Ireland and the UK and cannot commit to helping me look after my father at the moment. I would like to take time off work to look after my father. I have heard that I can request temporary leave from my employment.
I would appreciate your advice.
Thanks very much.
Thank you very much for your letter. The Carer’s Leave Act 2001 allows employees to leave their employment temporarily for the purposes of providing care for someone in need of full- time care and attention. In order to quality for carer’s leave you must have worked for your employer for a continuous period of twelve months, so you are eligible to apply. Your intention must be to provide full- time care and attention to an incapacitated person. The Department of Social and Family Affairs will decide if your father is sufficiently incapacitated to require a full-time carer. They will issue you with their decision in writing and you must give this decision to your employer. Your father’s GP must certify the nature and extent of your father’s disability. You are obliged to give your employer at least six weeks’ notice of your intention to take carer’s leave. You are then also required to furnish them with written confirmation detailing the duration of the leave within two weeks of the commencement of your carer’s leave. The written confirmation document must be signed by you and your employer. If your employer considers that you do not meet the requirements for carer’s leave, then they are obliged to notify the Department of Social and Family Affairs of their decision. The Department will carry out an investigation and issue their decision. The decision of the Department may be Appealed by you or indeed your employer and such Appeals must be made to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. If you fail to comply with the notice requirements, your employer may still accept the leave as carer’s leave and again a confirmation document must be signed by both you and your employer. The minimum period of carer’s leave is 13 weeks, and the maximum period is 104 weeks. The leave can be taken in one continuous period of 104 weeks or a number of periods not exceeding a total of 104 weeks. You are not entitled to be paid by your employer during the period of carer’s leave unless this is stated in your Contract of Employment or you enter into an agreement with your employer. Carer’s benefit is paid for by the Department of Social and Family Affairs including social insurance contributions. If you do not qualify for carer’s benefit you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance which is means tested. You are entitled to work during your carer’s leave but only for a maximum of 15 hours per week and your earnings must not exceed a weekly limit of €320.00 after tax. You are obliged to give your employer at least four weeks’ notice, in writing, of your intention to return to work. You are also entitled to return to your previous job or a suitable alternative which is not less favourable to you. I hope that the above information is of assistance to you and sincerely hope that your father is soon restored to good health.
With Every Good Wish.