Sick Leave

Sick Leave Procedure

1. Notification of Sick Leave by Staff Member The employee must advise his/her immediate supervisor before the normal starting time of duty if possible, but no later than two hours after normal starting time. Failure to do so, without a valid reason, may disqualify the employee from payment for the absence. The employee should where possible indicate the likely duration of the absence. Payment for uncertified sick leave will only be made on receipt of a completed Return to Work Notification (SL2), specifying the nature of illness and its duration.

2. Notification of Sick Leave by Department The Head of Department or his nominee should complete a Notification of Sick Leave Form (SL1) if the employee is absent more than 2 consecutive days and forward to the Department of Human Resources. In case of Occupational Injury the immediate supervisor must be advised and the Accident Report Form must be completed. For details of the Occupational Injury Scheme please contact the Department of Human Resources directly.

3. Medical Certification Where an employee is absent on continuous sick leave of more than 2 days, a medical certificate is required. If a sick absence extends from Friday to Monday inclusive, then a medical certificate must be provided. If the employee fails to provide a medical certificate, the University, following due process, shall record the leave as a period of unapproved sick leave and payment will be withdrawn pending compliance with the scheme and may be dealt with under the agreed disciplinary procedures. Medical certificates may not be accepted post factum and if excess casual leave has been taken, the University may not allow sick pay for such uncertified absences. Medical certificates must be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources for each week of absence during the first month of illness. Certificates for periods of up to one month may be permitted at the discretion of the University. The university may request that the employee submit a medical certificate, at his/her own expense, for any absence on sick leave, no matter how short. University College, Cork Sick Leave Procedures 2 November 2014 Normally, further payment for sick leave will not be allowed until such medical certificate is received. Where sick pay ends, but the employee retains his/her post, medical certificates must continue to be provided. A certificate of medical fitness is required by the university before an employee returns to work. Medical certificates must be issued by a qualified and registered medical practitioner registered with the Irish/UK Medical Council/Dental Council of Ireland. In exceptional circumstances, medical certificates may be accepted from overseas medical practitioners if the employee becomes ill abroad or is receiving recognized medical treatment unavailable in Ireland. The advice of the OHP must be sought in such circumstances.

4. Social Welfare Benefits Staff who pay Class A1 PRSI may be entitled to payment from the Department of Social & Family Affairs (DFSA). For the first 3 days of illness there is no change to your pay. The Single Person’s Allowance is deducted from pay from day 4 (currently €220.00 per week) without being subject to PRSI. If a staff member is not entitled to illness benefit, social welfare will send notification to the staff member who in turn should forward copy to HR. Staff should obtain the IB1 (First Claim Form) from their GP, fill out all appropriate sections and forward directly to Freepost, Social Welfare Services, Dept. of Social & Family Affairs, PO Box 1650, Dublin 1. For continuous sick leave beyond the first week, the GP may tick the amount of weeks he feels are required for the staff member to recover from their illness. The last MED1 must be marked Final Cert by the GP which will close off the illness benefit claim. DSFA will forward illness benefit directly to the employee’s home address or bank account.  See Sick Leave Process Flow 2023 for details. 

5. Medical Examination by the University’s Occupational Health Physician The university may request an employee to attend the University’s Occupational Health Physician (OHP) for an independent medical examination or for a medical referee to call to an employee’s home to examine him/her before s/he is granted sick leave with or without pay. This may be requested at any time during or after his/her sick leave. For continuing sick leave, the University may require monthly or more frequent medical examinations by the University’s Occupational Health Physician (OHP). An employee who has been on long term leave of absence of any kind in excess of 2 full years will be required, prior to return, to undergo a medical assessment and be deemed medically fit by an OHP. University College, Cork Sick Leave Procedures 3 November 2014

6. Resumption of Duty It is expected that an employee would be medically fit to resume full duties after a period of sick leave so that resumption of duty would not induce a relapse into illness. An employee intending to resume duty prior to the date specified on his/her medical certificate, must provide a medical certificate of fitness from his/her attending doctor before the date of resumption. In the absence of such a certificate the full period as recorded on the medical certificate(s) will be counted as sick leave. Certificates of fitness furnished at a later date will not be accepted as evidence of fitness for duty. Prior to resumption of duties, an employee who is absent on paid sick leave for 4 or more continuous weeks, or absent for any period of TRR/unpaid sick leave or a shorter period where the University has reasonable grounds for concern must submit medical certification of fitness for duties. Confirmation of fitness to return to duties must also be obtained by the University from the OHP. Where an employee is absent on sick leave and has not returned to duty for a reasonable period before and after a period of University closure, they will be deemed to be on sick leave for the whole duration unless:

(a) The employee provides a medical certificate of fitness to resume full duties prior or during the prior the University closure

(b) The advice of the OHP as to the employee’s fitness for full duties has been obtained and to whether the University closure or any part thereof might be discounted.

On return to work the employee should complete a Return to Work Notification Form (SL2) which should be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources following the Return to Work meeting with the Head of Department.


Re: New Arrangements for Self-Certified[Uncertified]/Casual Paid Sick Leave

The Higher Education Authority has notified the University, further to a directive from the Minister for Education and Skills, regarding revised arrangements for paid self-certified [uncertified]  sick leave in the Public Service, which apply from the 1st November 2012 following a recommendation from the Labour Court (LCR 20335). The Department of Education and Skills has directed that these revised paid self-certified sick leave arrangements as set out hereunder be brought to the attention of all staff .

In relation to self-certified, i.e. uncertified, paid sick leave the Labour Court recommended that “seven days self-certified paid sick leave be granted over a rolling two year period”.

The Labour Court has recommended a phased move to the new arrangements which means there will be an initial maximum of 7 days self-certified paid sick leave permitted in the period from 1st January 2012 until 31st December 2013.

The new arrangements apply to employees who have an existing entitlement to paid sick leave and who take self-certified sick leave from and including the commencement date of 1st November 2012. The rolling period will count back initially from the commencement date to 1st January 2012. Any self-certified sick leave taken after the commencement date will count back to 1st January 2012 until a full 24 month period is reached. Thereafter, the count back is over a rolling 24 month period, i.e. it is calculated from the latest absence working backwards over a 24 month period. It should be noted that any period of self- certified sick leave in excess of 7 days in the relevant period will be an unpaid absence from duty.

Sick Leave Management Policy


Contact: Kathy O'Connell, Department of Human Resources, / 021 490 2674

Human Resources

Acmhainní Daonna

Ground Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC