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COVID-19 - Special Leave

Having regard to the provisions of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform  and in accordance with the provisions of the following circular dated 11th August 2020, UCC may grant Special Leave with pay to an employee where appropriate medical or HSE confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis or recommendation  to self-isolate is provided,  in accordance with HSE Guidelines.

Special Leave with pay for employees who are not required to come to work for COVID-19 will be based on basic salary and fixed allowances only. This excludes premium payments.

Any special leave with pay granted for the purpose of self-isolation or diagnosis of COVID-19 will not be counted as part of the employee’s Sick Leave record. The special leave with pay entitlement will apply for the number of days advised by the HSE/doctor.

In order to grant Special Leave with pay, appropriate medical confirmation of the need to self-isolate or diagnosis of COVID-19 will be required. This will be recorded as COVID-19 Additional special leave (with pay) on HRIS. 

Where the employee is already on special leave with pay due to self-isolation and subsequently contracts the COVID-19 virus, then the special leave with pay will continue for the duration of the illness, subject to medical certification being provided to the University.

When the recommended period of self-isolation/diagnosis of COVID-19 has passed, medical advice and HSE Guidelines should be followed regarding return to work.



  • An employee who has been HSE/medically diagnosed with Covid-19 and/or recommended to self-isolate must immediately inform the manager and complete the Application Form Appendix 2: Special leave with pay self-declaration for COVID-19 to apply for special leave with pay. 
  • The completed Application Form should be forwarded by the employee to the employer as soon as possible.The completed form must be accompanied by appropriate HSE/medical certification to include estimated date of fitness to return to work.
  • The employee must arrange a COVID-19 test as soon as possible and must immediately inform the manager of the COVID-19 test result.
  • Where the employee does not return to work immediately following a negative test result, the terms and conditions of the Sick Leave Scheme applies.


Close Contact with Confirmed Case

Special leave with pay does not apply to employees who are required to restrict their movements as they are not ill.

The employer must therefore facilitate working from home. If remote working in an employee’s current role is not feasible, then the assignment of work may be outside of their usual core duties. Employees must cooperate with all such flexibilities while they are restricting their movements.

In all such cases, employees remain available for work whilst at home, where they have been advised to restrict their movements as a precautionary measure.

A dedicated UCC webpage for COVID-19 is now available: 



Human Resources

Acmhainní Daonna

Ground Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC