Unpaid Leave

Unpaid Leave must only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances, where the employer is satisfied that there is a compelling obligation involving absence from duty. Absences under this heading must not be used to substitute other forms of leave, statutory or otherwise and must not be of a recurring nature.


Notification / Documentation Requirements
  • Applications for unpaid leave must be approved by the employer six weeks in advance of the absence.
  • The maximum amount of unpaid leave which may be taken is 10 school days in a school year.  Substitution will be paid by the Department/ETB.
  • Absence for part of a school day constitutes an absence for a full school day.
  • Pro-rata entitlements to absences will apply to teachers employed on a part- time basis.
  • Any unpaid absence without the approval of the ETB will be dealt with under disciplinary procedures.
  • The employer shall submit notice of all unpaid leave to the Department (via the OLCS)/relevant ETB system regardless of whether or not a substitute teacher was employed. Applications for unpaid leave should be entered on the OLCS system/ETB System as early as possible after they are approved by the employer to ensure that deductions from pay are made at the correct time. It should be noted that an absence for unpaid leave cannot be changed once it is processed on the OLCS.
  • Absences under this heading do not impinge on entitlements under Statutory Leave.
  • A teacher absent on unpaid leave cannot be employed in another recognised primary or post primary school to undertake teaching in any capacity or undertake the duties of a special needs assistant.


Apply on CoreHR here

Employee to outline reason for request in ‘comments’ section.

Any further queries in relation to Unpaid Leave, please contact the Human Resources Department:

Ann Lennon (alennon@kcetb.ie)


Karen Hanrahan (Karen.Hanrahan@kcetb.ie)


Name Downloads
Circular Letter 0054/2019 Unpaid Leave for Post Primary Teachers – Chapter 11 (Page 128)