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Public Holidays

Public Holidays

Q. As an employee, what are my entitlements in relation to Public Holidays?

Most employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays. There is an exception for certain part-time employees

If you qualify for public holiday benefit, you are entitled to one of the following:

· A paid day off on the public holiday

· An additional day of annual leave

· An additional day’s pay

· A paid day off within a month of the public holiday

You can ask your employer at least 21 days before a public holiday, which of the alternatives will apply. If your employer does not respond at least 14 days before the public holiday, you are entitled to take the actual public holiday as a paid day off.


Q. As a part-time worker, what is my entitlement to in relation to Public Holidays?

You are entitled to a day’s pay for the public holiday if you have worked for your employer at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks before the public holiday and the public holiday falls on a day you normally work

If you are required to work that day you are entitled to an additional day’s pay in lieu of the day off.

If you do not normally work on that particular day, you should get one-fifth of your weekly pay. Even if you are never rostered to work on a public holiday, you are entitled to one-fifth of your weekly pay as compensation for the public holiday.


Q. This year Christmas falls on the weekend. What does that mean for my entitlement to time off for public holidays?

A. This year, each of the 3 upcoming public holidays fall on a weekend day:

· Christmas Day, Saturday 25 December 2021

· Saint Stephen’s Day, Sunday 26 December 2021

· New Year’s Day, Saturday 1 January 2022

When a public holiday falls on a day which is not a ‘normal working day’ for that business (for example, on Saturday or Sunday), you are still entitled to benefit for that public holiday.

For example, you may get an extra day of annual leave, or an additional days pay, or a paid day off within a month of the public holiday. However, you do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day off work.


Rent Supports for People in Private Rented Accommodation

Q. Is there any support to help me pay my rent?

Rent Supplement is a means-tested payment for certain people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources. It will only be provided if the accommodation is suitable for your needs. Rent Supplement is not generally paid if the rent is above the maximum rent limit set for your area and you have to meet certain qualifying conditions.

It is a short-term income support for people in the private rented sector. If you have been getting Rent Supplement for a long time (generally 18 months or more) you may get a letter from the Department of Social Protection, asking you to contact your local authority to apply for social housing support (which includes HAP). You must apply within 6 weeks of being asked to do so. This deadline can be extended in certain cases. You may then be transferred to HAP or to another form of social housing support.

Q. If I have to leave my home due to Domestic Violence can I access Rent Supplement?

A. Victims of domestic violence referred from Tusla-funded services including West Cork Women Against Violence Project, An Garda Síochána and the Health Service Executive (HSE) can get immediate access to Rent Supplement. The mean-test for Rent Supplement will not apply for 3 months.

Rent Supplement can be extended for a further 3 months, but the means-test will apply.

See Also

After this 6 month period, if the person has a long term housing need, they can apply to their local housing authority for social housing supports and access the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), if eligible.

Q. What is the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)?

A. The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need and who are on the local authority housing list. HAP is available in all local authority areas and will eventually replace long-term Rent Supplement.

The scheme is administered by the local authorities, who pay the landlords directly. The rent being charged for the accommodation must be within the limits for the household type in that local authority’s area. Tenants pay a weekly HAP rent contribution to the local authority, based on their income and ability to pay. However, you will not be a local authority tenant. The rental agreement will be between yourself and the private landlord and your tenancy will be covered by residential tenancies legislation. This means that you will have certain rights and obligations, as will your landlord. Your tenancy must be registered with the Residential Tenancies Board.

You will be expected to stay in your HAP accommodation for at least 2 years, but in some situations you may be able to apply for a new HAP payment elsewhere – for example, if you are offered a job in another town or if your family grows too large for the property. You will need to contact your local authority if you are thinking of moving.

Q. Can I avail of these supports if I am working?

Under the HAP scheme you can take up full-time employment and keep your housing support.

You will not qualify for Rent Supplement if you are in full-time employment – defined as 30 hours or more a week. (In the case of couples, if one of a couple is in full-time employment, both are excluded from claiming Rent Supplement.) Claims from self-employed people are assessed on the individual circumstances of the case and you may be asked to show that you are working less than 30 hours a week.

However, if you applied for Rent Supplement on or after 13 March 2020, you may qualify for Rent Supplement if you or your partner are working more than 30 hours per week and you have had a reduction in your income

from work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, it will be means tested and your income from employment will be taken into account. This is due to change at the end of 2021.


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:


§ Tralee on Tel: Call 0818 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)

§ The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0818 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm § Our national call back service: Visit to request a phone call from an information officer

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