Limit on teaching career break no longer kept under hat
Teachers can take career breaks or leaves of absence for a variety of different reasons, such as working abroad, but nothing compares to the Oireachtas leave scheme for generosity.
Teachers on other approved absences pay a higher pension contribution than their TD colleagues to preserve their pension and such breaks have usually been subject to a five-year limit.
Teachers-turned-TDs or senators are replaced in the school on a temporary basis and the stand-in teacher is paid out of their salary. There has been a long tradition of teachers going into politics and the teacher union leaders used their considerable clout to ensure they enjoyed attractive terms and conditions. It is underpinned by a guarantee they can return to their job at any time and, once the post is open for them, they may continue to build pension rights.