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Q. Will I continue to accrue Annual Leave while on Sick Leave?
HSE HR Circular 08/2012 provides that health service employees are entitled to accrue annual leave during periods of paid sick leave and where they are unable to take such leave in the current leave year, they are entitled to carry forward this leave into a new leave year over a three year cycle.
Changes to the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 mean that with effect from 1 August 2015:
• employees are entitled to accrue statutory annual leave while on periods of certified sick (i.e. during both paid and unpaid periods of sick leave);
• employees who cannot, due to illness, take annual leave during the leave year in which it accrued or during the normal carryover period of 6 months, will be able to carryover such leave for a period of 15 months after the end of the leave year in question; and  
• employees who leave their employment within 15 months after the end of the leave year in which they accrued statutory annual leave while on sick leave and which was untaken, are entitled to payment in lieu of this leave. 
The arrangements currently for health service employees are as follows: employees accumulate annual leave during all periods of certified sick leave.  The annual leave accrued is based on the statutory entitlement of 4 working weeks in a leave year.  In addition to the existing arrangements set out in HSE HR Circular 08/2012, the statutory annual entitlement applies to periods of unpaid sick leave and periods during which the employee is in receipt of Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration and the injury grant.
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie