Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Covid-19 Pandemic

Violet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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135. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the procedure for a public servant who has to travel abroad for an essential health procedure and must self-isolate on return here; and if this person must claim sick pay or use holiday pay on his or her return. [30771/20]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Where an employee is going to be absent from work due to a medical procedure their employer will advise them about the arrangements that apply in their own case as these may differ depending on the specific circumstances.

In general terms, if it is determined by a medical professional that a public servant must travel abroad for what is deemed to be an essential health procedure, normal sick leave rules may apply.

Again, depending on the specific details of each case, if a public servant is medically certified as unwell on return to Ireland they may be eligible for sick leave. Alternately, if they are fit for work they must agree with their employer what arrangements apply.

The Resilience and Recovery Plan lists three reasons which may be considered as essential travel; to care for family members, for essential work or for citizens to return home, however there is no definitive list of what constitutes essential travel and as such, in relation to what leave arrangements apply, this is a matter for each employer to determine.

Question 4.5 of the Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers during COVID-19 sets out the position in relation to travel overseas that is deemed to be non-essential. If travel is deemed to be non-essential then public servants must make provision by way of an annual leave or unpaid leave application for the period of restricted movement, in line with the normal rules applying in the relevant sector.

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