`Term-time leave' for some civil servants to begin this summer


Civil Servants in the largest four Government Departments will be permitted to take three months' summer leave to look after children or dependants under a pilot scheme to be introduced in the summer.

The so-called "term-time leave" will be allowed for employees in the Departments of Agriculture, Social, Community and Family Affairs, Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Revenue Commissioners.

Those availing of the new arrangement can have nine months' salary spread over 12 months in order to avoid a loss of full pay in the period they are absent from work. The project, organised by the Department of Finance, will allow special leave in a continuous period from June 1999.

Parents of children in primary school will be allowed 10 weeks' leave, compared to the parents of post-primary students, who will be permitted 13 weeks off work. Carers can choose either period.

The first term-time leave scheme was introduced last year as a pilot project in sections of the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs. However, arrangements were not in place to allow adjustments in pay over 12 months, and the take-up was low.

Particular posts suitable for inclusion in the scheme will be decided by management in the light of the applications received and the needs of the service.

Applicants must be working in the relevant Department in a full-time capacity and have one or more dependent children under the age of 17 on June 1st, 1999. Primary carers must show the dependant resides with them and has a disability of such a nature as to give rise to the need for frequent or continuous care.