Carer's Leave Policy
1. It is the policy of the University to comply with all requirements under the Carer's Leave Act 2001. Carer's Leave is unpaid leave from work to allow an employee to provide full-time care and attention to a relevant person.
2. University College Cork employees under a contract of employment, with at least one (1) years continuous service, may be considered for Carers Leave, if they are eligible under the provisions of the Carer's Leave Act.
3. Relevant Person: A care recipient will be considered to be a relevant person if they: a. need continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions or, b. need continual supervision in order to avoid danger to themselves.
4. Second Relevant Person: An employee may, while on Carer's Leave in respect of one relevant person, apply for Carer's Leave for a second relevant person, where that person resides with the first relevant person, to a maximum of one hundred and thirty (130) weeks in total.
5. Carer's Leave is unpaid leave up to a maximum of one hundred and four (104) weeks per qualifying relevant person. The minimum statutory entitlement that may be taken in one period is thirteen (13) weeks.
GUIDELINES FOR CARER'S LEAVE
6. The Department of Social Protection (DSP) is responsible for ascertaining the validity of applications to avail of Carer's Leave. The DSP also decides an employee's entitlement to Carer's Benefit, which is based on the employee's PRSI contributions. However, entitlement to Carer's Benefit is not a condition for entitlement to Carer's Leave.
7. Only one person is allowed to use Carer's Leave for a specific care recipient at a time.
8. A person is only entitled to leave for one care recipient at any one time (see definition of second relevant person).
9. Where an employee, while on Carer's Leave in respect of one relevant person, qualifies for Carer's Leave in respect of a second relevant person, (by application to the DSP), s/he does not have to reapply to the University before the commencement of the second period of leave. However, s/he must inform his/her Head of Department/Manager and the Department of Human Resources of the change, and the expected return to work date, as soon as is practicable.
10. If the leave in respect of one relevant person has finished, an employee must wait six (6) months before s/he can commence leave for a second relevant person.
11. Leave can be taken as a continuous block of one hundred and four (104) weeks, or by agreement with the relevant Head of Department/Manager, may be broken into an aggregate of periods. The minimum statutory entitlement that an employee may take in any one period is thirteen (13) weeks.
12. Where the leave is broken up into an aggregate of periods there must be a break of six (6) weeks between each period of leave taken.
13. The University reserves the right to refuse, with written reasons, to grant a period of leave shorter than thirteen (13) weeks.
14. An employee is regarded as remaining in the University employment during his/her absence on Carer's Leave, and retains all employment rights, except the following:
- The right to remuneration
- Annual leave (after thirteen (13) weeks of absence for each relevant person)
- Public holidays (after thirteen (13) weeks of absence for each relevant person) o Increments (after thirteen (13) weeks)
- Superannuation benefits, or
- Any obligation to pay contributions in, or in respect of, the employment.
The absence counts as reckonable service for the purposes of increments, seniority, redundancy, etc.
15. Carer's Leave cannot be treated as part of any other leave from employment including sick leave, adoptive leave, maternity leave, parental leave, annual leave, or force majeure, to which an employee is entitled.
16. An employee is entitled to return to work at the end of the period of Carer's Leave to the post held immediately prior to the leave, and under the same contract, terms and conditions of employment.
17. An employee must notify his/her Head of Department/Manager, of any change in circumstances which affect his/her entitlement to Carer's Leave as soon as is practicable.
18. The employee may not engage in employment for the duration of his/her absence on Carer's Leave (Some exceptions apply refer to Carer's Benefit Information Booklet SW49).
19. The University will suspend a period of probation, training or apprenticeship, while an employee is on Carer's Leave.
20. The leave will terminate in the following circumstances:
a. On the date of termination of the period of Carer's Leave specified in the Confirmation of Carer's Leave Form (Form CL2);
b. On a date agreed between the University and the employee;
c. Where the person in respect of whom the employee has taken Carer's Leave ceases to satisfy the conditions for a relevant person;
d. Where the employee ceases to satisfy the conditions for the provision of fulltime care and attention;
e. On the date which the University notifies the employee to return to work, pending a decision of a deciding officer or an appeals officer
f. Where the relevant person dies during the period of Carer's Leave, the leave will terminate either six weeks after the date of death, or the date of termination specified in the Form CL2, whichever is the earlier.
21. The University may terminate the leave, and is also obliged to notify the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs, where it has reasonable grounds to believe that the leave is not being used for a purpose other than providing full-time care and attention to the relevant person concerned. However, before terminating the leave, the University will notify the employee, in writing, of the intention to do so, pending a decision by the DSP. The employee will be invited to make representation in the matter within seven (7) days.
22. An employee wishing to take Carer's Leave must apply to the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs, using the carer's benefit claim form (Form CARB1, available from the DSP), eight (8) weeks before intending to commence Carer's Leave.
23. The employee must provide notice in writing to his/her Head of Department/ Manager and the Department of Human Resources ( Form CL1), no later than six (6) weeks before the proposed commencement of the leave, or as soon as is reasonably practicable. The University may waive the right to notice, in exceptional circumstances.
24. The employee must provide his/her Head of Department/Manager, and the Department of Human Resources, with a copy of the decision of the Deciding Officer of the DSP, as soon as s/he receives it.
25. The employee with his/her Head of Department/Manager, must, not less than two (2) weeks prior to the proposed commencement of the Carer's Leave, prepare and sign a confirmation document ( Form CL2).
26. An employee may revoke notice of intention to take Carer's Leave before the confirmation documentation is signed.
27. After confirmation documentation is signed, the leave may only be postponed, varied, or curtailed, by agreement between the employee and Head of Department/Manager.
28. An employee who is on Carer's Leave must give notice in writing to the Head of Department/Manager, and the Department of Human Resources, of his/her intention to return to work, not less than four (4) weeks before the date s/he intends to return.
29. The Head of Department/Manager, should complete a Post Proposal Form (Form PF3) with regard to the temporary replacement of the employee who is taking Carer's Leave. This form should be returned to the Department of Human Resources, for progression to the relevant committee for approval.
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