Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Special Educational Needs Staff

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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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]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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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.

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