Know Your Rights May 2019

Know Your Rights A:

Is Good Friday a public holiday?

May 2019


Is Good Friday a public holiday?


Good Friday fell on 19 April in 2019. It is not a public holiday. While many businesses close on Good Friday, you have no automatic entitlement to time off work on that day.

However, Easter Monday is a public holiday. This year it fell on Monday 22 April.

If a public holiday falls on a day on which you normally work, you are entitled to either:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday
  • An additional day’s pay
  • An additional day’s annual leave

If the public holiday falls on a day on which you do not normally work, then you are entitled to one-fifth of your normal weekly wage for that day.

Part-time employees qualify for public holiday entitlement if they have worked at least 40 hours during the 5 weeks ending on the day before a public holiday.


Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.



Know Your Rights B:

Recognition of your qualifications

May 2019


I am returning to Ireland from Australia where I have been working and living for the last 10 years. I received my degree from the University of Melbourne. I want to do a Masters in Ireland on my return. Can I use my foreign degree to apply for a place in a third level course?


You should first check with the admissions office of your chosen 3rd level institution to see if they will accept your degree for admission to the Masters.

NARIC Ireland also provides free advice on the academic recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland. The service compares a foreign qualification to an Irish qualification of a similar type and level on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The NARIC Ireland foreign qualifications database has details of over 1100 qualifications from over 140 countries. You can download a Comparability Statement which compares your qualifications to an award type and level in the context of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications. If your qualification is not currently listed you can request recognition advice for your foreign award by emailing them directly. Visit for more information.

Make sure you have original copies of your degree (parchment) and exam transcripts before leaving Australia, as you will have to submit these with your application to the college and/or the NARIC.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.




Know Your Rights C:

Nursing home contract of care

May 2019


I have chosen a nursing home to live in and have been asked to sign a contract. I’m not sure what to look out for. What should be included in the contract?


When you decide on a nursing home, you are asked to sign a contract of care. This sets out the rights and responsibilities for you and for the nursing home. It is important that you understand it before you sign it. If the contract refers to other documents, you must be given those documents at the same time.

A nursing home must use simple and language that you can understand in its contract of care. It should not have unexplained legal jargon.

The contract should include:

  • Details of the specific services that the nursing home will provide
  • Details of how much you will pay for the services, and how this will be paid
  • All details of additional charges and fees
  • Any specific policies around visitors or your absences from the nursing home
  • The circumstances under which you might be asked to leave
  • The circumstances under which changes to the contract will apply and how those changes will be agreed
  • Details on the circumstances in which the nursing home can cancel your contract of care, which must be limited and specific

The contract should not include terms that allow the nursing home to change the contract without your agreement after you have signed it. It should not allow the nursing home to have an unlimited right to increase or add fees after the initial costs are agreed with you.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission website,, has more information about what you are entitled to expect in a nursing home contract for care. It includes information about what you can do if you think that a contract for care is unfair.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.




Know Your Rights D:

Force majeure leave

May 2019


My daughter was taken suddenly ill and I left work early to go to hospital with her. Can I take a half day as force majeure leave?


The Parental Leave Acts 1998 and 2006 give employees a limited right to leave from work in the event of a family crisis. This is called force majeure leave.  Force majeure leave is paid leave and it arises where, the immediate presence of the employee is indispensable owing to an injury or illness of a close family member. As a rule, an employee cannot plan the leave – it must be unexpected. Force majeure leave applies to the illness or injury of:

  • Your natural or adopted child (or a child whom you are acting in loco parentis)
  • Your spouse or partner (provided you are living together)
  • Your brother or sister
  • Your parent or grandparent
  • A person who otherwise lives with you in a relationship of domestic dependency

You are not entitled to force majeure leave following the death of a close family member.


You are entitled to up to three days of force majeure leave in any 12-month period or five days in any 36-month period. If you are absent for only part of a day on force majeure grounds, it is still counted as a full day of force majeure leave.


You must give written notice to your employer as soon as possible after taking force majeure leave. The notice must include the date you took the leave and why the leave was necessary. You must sign the notice.


You cannot be dismissed for taking force majeure leave or proposing to take it. If you have a dispute about force majeure leave, you should make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission within six months of the dispute. The time limit may be extended for up to a further six months, but only where there is a substantial cause which prevented you from bringing the complaint within the normal time limit.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Bray Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See for details of your local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 07 6780

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.



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