Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is granted in accordance with the Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004.

  • All pregnant staff, are entitled to 26 weeks Maternity Leave and 16 weeks additional unpaid maternity leave.
  • Maternity leave will ordinarily begin on a date not later than 2 weeks before the end of the week of the baby’s expected birth and 4 weeks must be taken after the end of the week of the baby’s birth. For this purpose Saturday is regarded as the end of the week.
  • If the birth occurs in a week before an employee has commenced her maternity leave then the maternity leave must commence immediately (on the date of the baby’s birth) and the employer must be informed.
  • If the birth occurs after the expected date and there are less than 4 weeks of maternity leave remaining, then the employer must be informed and the maternity leave will be extended to ensure that 4 weeks maternity leave are taken following the birth.
  • An employee’s entitlement to maternity leave, whether paid or unpaid, shall cease on the expiry of a contract, that contract not having been renewed.
Statutory Additional Unpaid Leave
  • An employee has the option of taking a maximum of 16 consecutive weeks’ statutory additional unpaid maternity leave which must commence on the day immediately following completion of maternity leave.
  • When all associated leave types have been fully utilised, as appropriate to each individual, then the next working day becomes the date of resumption of duty.
  • Teachers may also apply for non-statutory additional unpaid leave to the end of the school year upon completion of maternity and statutory unpaid leave. In the context of this leave the end of the school year is taken to mean August 31st. This leave is not a statutory entitlement and it is subject to obtaining written sanction from the employer at least six weeks in advance of an intention to avail of this leave.
Application Process/ Notification Requirements
  • You should first of all inform your Principal/Director/Co-Ordinator/Manager of your intent to avail of Maternity Leave (to allow for adequate time to recruit a replacement, where appropriate).
  • You should then contact the Human Resources Department to discuss leave dates.
  • Once you have decided when you wish to commence your Maternity Leave you complete and return together with a medical certificate confirming the expected date of birth (EDB) to the Human Resources Department at least six weeks before you intend to take leave.

Any further queries in relation to Maternity Leave Entitlements, please contact:

Human Resources Department (

Name Downloads
Application Form Maternity Leave Entitlements Application Form 

Unpaid Maternity Leave Application Form

Terms & Conditions of Employment for Registered Teachers in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools Maternity Protection Entitlements
Circular 0017/2013 Maternity Leave Entitlements for SNAs
Circular 0080/2015 Maternity Leave Entitlements for staff other than Teachers and SNAs
Circular 0060/2018 Breast Feeding Breaks for Teachers