Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Special Educational Needs Staff
387. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason special needs assistants only get three days of compassionate leave when a parent or other close relatives dies and other staff such a teachers get five days; her plans to address this inequality; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44340/20]
My Department’s Circular Letter caters for Brief Absences, including Bereavement Leave for Special Need Assistants (SNAs) employed in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools. In relation to Bereavement Leave, paragraph 2 of this Circular states:-
‘Special leave with pay is allowed to an SNA in the event of the bereavement of a family member.
(a) 5 consecutive days (including weekends) in the case of a spouse, partner, child, or a person to whom the SNA is in loco parentis.
(b) 3 consecutive days (including weekends) in the case of a parent, brother, sister, parent-in-law, step-parent, grandparent or a person who resides with the SNA in a relationship of domestic dependency.
Should the death occur after school hours the special leave commences from the following day. Should the death occur at the weekend, for example, a Saturday, the special leave commences from the day directly following the death i.e. Sunday.’
A Union has submitted a claim on behalf of SNA members for increased Bereavement Leave entitlement which is currently under consideration.