Ophelia: health staff won’t be docked leave

Health service staff who were unable to attend work on Monday 16th October because of safety concerns related to storm Ophelia will be paid for the hours they were scheduled to work, and will not be required to take leave to cover any absence resulting directly from the storm.

The decision, which also applies to staff who were sent home early because of the storm, was set out in a memo issued to HR managers by the HSE today (Thursday).

IMPACT made representations to the HSE earlier this week on foot of confusion over how local HR managers were dealing with the issue.

Earlier this week, IMPACT said it expected staff to be paid if they were unable to work on Monday because of the storm. “We would oppose any attempt by employers to assign an annual leave day for the absence,” it said.

Today’s circular was sent to CEOs and senior HR managers in the HSE, community health organisations, hospital groups, and ‘section 38’ agencies.

The memo says staff who were not scheduled to attend work on Monday, and those already booked out for annual leave, sick leave, study leave, parental leave, or other approved leave are not entitled to time off in lieu.

The health service arrangement only covers Monday 16th October. The memo says that staff who were unable to attend work on Tuesday 17th for “other reasons on foot of storm Ophelia may be granted annual leave or unpaid leave to cover their absence.”