Leave for Medical Care Purposes

With certain provision of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 now in effect Organisations are starting to manage some requests. Ensuring you are compliant in the management of all requests in particular leave for medical care purposes will limit any internal grievances or breaches of statutory requirements. Leave for Medical Care Purposes was one of the provisions introduced and entitles Employees to avail of up to 5 days unpaid leave in any period of 12 consecutive months. To support Organisations with the proper and effective management of requests we have provided below a number of frequently asked questions.

When does Leave for Medical Care Purposes apply?

An Employee is entitled to avail of Leave for Medical Care Purposes for the purposes of providing personal care or support to a person – including the child, spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, parent, grandparent, sibling or person residing in the same household of the Employee – who is in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason.

What type of illness/medical care is covered under the legislation?

For the purposes of the legislation, a person shall be considered to be in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason where, owing to the person’s disability, injury, or illness, he or she requires such care or support that includes the presence of the Employee at the place where the person is.

Is there a service requirement for Leave for Medical Care Purposes?

No, there is no service requirement for an Employee before they are entitled to avail of Leave for Medical Care Purposes.

What steps should an Employee take if they have taken or intend to take Leave for Medical Care Purposes?

If an Employee has taken or intends to take Leave for Medical Care Purposes, they must confirm this by way of signed confirmation in writing to their Employer as soon as reasonably practicable. This includes specifying the date that the leave commenced or will commence, its duration, and the facts supporting the Employee’s entitlement to take this leave.

How should an Organisation respond to such written confirmations from Employees?

The Organisation should retain the written confirmation and in turn, provide the Employee with a written acknowledgment of the receipt, which is to be retained by the Employee. The Employer may request the Employee to provide such information as may reasonably be required in support of the leave, including the Employee’s relationship with the person in respect of whom the leave is proposed to be taken or was taken, the nature of the personal care or support required to be given by the Employee to the person concerned, and relevant evidence relating to the need of the person for the significant care or support concerned such as a medical certificate.

How should a part day of Leave for Medical Care Purposes be recorded?

Part days of Leave for Medical Care Purposes are deemed to be one day of leave.

Is there a requirement for an Organisaton to retain records of Leave for Medical Care Purposes?

Yes. Employers are required to make a record of Leave for Medical Care Purposes taken by Employees, showing the period of employment of each Employee and the dates and times upon which each Employee was on the leave, and hold such records for a period of 3 years.

Is Force Majeure Leave the same as Leave for Medical Care Purposes?

No. Leave for Medical Care Purposes is separate and distinct from Force Majeure Leave. Force Majeure leave is paid leave from employment, arising where, for urgent family reasons, the immediate presence of the Employee is indispensable owing to an injury or illness of a close family member.

While we await commencement of other provisions under the Act such as paid leave for victims of domestic abuse, the right to request flexible working arrangements for the purpose of caring for family members and the right to request remote working, Organisations are required to ensure a compliant policy for the provision of Leave for Medical Care Purposes has been developed and communicated to all Employees if not done already.


If your Organisation needs advice, support, or guidance in relation to compliance requirements or any HR issues, please check out our website https://www.shannonchamber.ie/services/shannon-chamber-hr/ or contact Adare Human Resource Management call (01) 561 3594 or email info@adarehrm.ie