Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Department of Education and Skills
302. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the absence of substitute cover for teachers availing of the provisions for breastfeeding breaks as outlined in paragraph 13, chapter 4 of the maternity protection entitlements terms and conditions of employment for regular teachers in recognised primary and post-primary schools, edition 2; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5221/20]
The Maternity Leave Scheme for teachers is contained in Chapter 2 of my Department’s Circular 54/2019 titled ‘Leave Schemes for Registered Teachers employed in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools’. The current provisions for breastfeeding breaks are set out in Paragraph 19 of the Maternity Leave Scheme which states:-
“19.1 Within a 104 week period after the birth of the child, a teacher who has returned to work may avail of breastfeeding breaks without loss of pay for up to one hour per day for the purpose of breastfeeding or lactation.
19.2 A teacher who qualifies for this provision, must notify her employer in writing of her intention to avail of such breaks, at least 4 weeks in advance. A copy of the birth certificate of the child must be submitted with the application for breastfeeding breaks.
19.3 Breastfeeding breaks may be taken in the form of:-
a) one break of 60 minutes, or
b) two breaks of 30 minutes each, or
c) three breaks of 20 minutes each
The pattern of breastfeeding breaks should be agreed following consultation between the employer and the teacher. Employers should take reasonable measures to facilitate the pattern of breastfeeding breaks as requested, while having due regard to the welfare and educational needs of pupils.
19.4 A teacher availing of breastfeeding breaks who ceases to breastfeed, should notify her employer in writing as soon as possible.
19.5 Substitute cover for breastfeeding breaks is not paid by the Department. At post primary level, the breaks should be covered through the Supervision and Substitution Scheme.”
The short term nature of these breaks would make any further substitution provision difficult to organise.
303. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if provisions will be put in place to enable teachers to move to a new post in a new school without losing the rights, entitlements and increments gained in the previous post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5224/20]
The core function of the redeployment arrangements is to facilitate the redeployment of surplus permanent and CID teachers to other schools where vacancies exist. The redeployment of all surplus permanent teachers to vacant teaching positions is key to the Department's ability to manage within its payroll budget.
Under these redeployment arrangements, teachers that are redeployed retain their employment rights as per the relevant agreed redeployment schemes.
There are currently no plans to introduce a separate redeployment scheme as per the Deputy's question.
Information about the redeployment schemes, including Frequently Asked Questions documents, is available on the Department’s website at