Employment of Substitutes

The following circumstances enable a Department paid substitute teacher to be employed by the principal / Board of Management:

(a) certified sick leave
(b) maternity leave
(c) adoptive leave
(d) parental leave
(e) jury service
(f) special absence for particular education reasons with prior approval of the Department of Education and Science
(g) career breaks — where the school is within the quota
(h) force majeure leave
(i) carer's leave, i.e. illness of a family member who is certified by medical practitioner as requiring constant care and attention for the period of recuperation from the illness
(j) bereavement involving a family member.


(h) is subject to the following limits:

  • three days in a 12 month period
  • maximum of five days over a 36 month period.

(j) is subject to the following limits:

  • 5 days in the case of spouse, child or parent
  • 3 days in the case of brother, sister, grand-parent, aunt, uncle or parent-in-law.

The employment of the substitute teacher is the responsibility of the school management. The management may recoup from the Department the cost of the substitute in respect of the actual number of hours devoted by the substitute to teaching the absent teacher’s classes provided that:

(i) the substitute is not a recognised national teacher, permanent whole-time vocational, comprehensive or community school teacher or a secondary teacher in receipt of incremental salary;

(ii) the substitute has been paid at an hourly rate not less than that prescribed by the Minister from time to time;

(iii) the claim for recoupment shall be accompanied by a receipt signed by the substitute in respect of the amount paid to the substitute.

Recoupment will not be made where the teacher for whom substitution is being made, has used up more than the permissible amount of sick leave. The rate of pay for qualified casual substitutes is €46.85 per hour and for unqualified casual substitutes the rate per hour is €40.85 (from 1st January 2010). Both these figures are inclusive of 22% holiday pay.