Annual Leave Considerations and Travel Abroad in Current COVID-19 environment

While there has been much debate on the production of a ‘Green List’ of countries and territories where individuals can travel from and enter Ireland without having to restrict their movements, the Government published the ‘green list’. Fifteen countries and territories feature on the list, which is intended to be updated every two weeks.

Notwithstanding the publication of this list, the Government advice remains that all non-essential overseas travel to and from Ireland is not advised, but with the green list now effective, employers are in the precarious position of deciding how to deal with the aftermath of potential international travel and an Employee’s statutory right to annual leave.

Under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, all employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary or casual, earn annual leave entitlements from the time they start work. However, under section 20 of the Act, the employer can determine the timing of an employee’s annual leave, taking into consideration work and personal requirements and consulting with the employee or the relevant union one month in advance of the leave commencing.

In the current environment, dealing with annual leave requests and anticipating the impact on business, should travel outside green list territories become a reality, means that employers must approach this once simple HR matter in a pragmatic and compliant way.

Our HR partner Adare Human Resource Management has complied the top 10 Questions and Answers to support Shannon Chamber members, questions such as

  1. Can an Employer stop an Employee taking annual leave at the moment?
  2. Can an Employer stop an Employee going abroad during a period of authorised annual leave?
  3. Can an Employer refuse an Employee’s return to work following a period of time spent abroad in a “green list” country?
  4. Can an Employer refuse a request of annual leave if an Employee has advised they intend going abroad to a country that is not on the “green list”?

…..and more

The full Q&A and other relevant HR and employment law information and supports are available through the Covid-19 Hub.

Log in –

To receive a password to provide you with complimentary access to the Covid Hub on the Adare Human Resource Management Linea site, please email requesting access to the Covid Hub as a Shannon Chamber member.

Full details of the HR and Employment Law support services available via Shannon Chamber HR are available –