The Deputy may be aware that I recently visited the UAE on an Education Trade mission where I met with many Irish teachers to discuss the challenges they face in returning to Ireland and to consider ways that we can work together to support them, when and if they decide to return to work here.
A teacher returning from having taught abroad must have current registration with the Teaching Council of Ireland to be appointed to a post in a recognised school. Where a previously registered teacher wishes to apply for re-registration with the Teaching Council an application for registration is made under S31 of the Teaching Council Acts 2001-2015.
I can confirm that a fully qualified registered teacher who was previously employed in a post in a recognised school and who had accrued a number of years incremental credit prior to leaving that post shall be placed on the incremental point s/he held on resumption of teaching duty. The criteria for the award of incremental credit to recognised primary and post-primary teachers, including for teaching service outside the EU, is set out in Circulars 10/2001, 29/2007.
In general, if a teacher’s absence was approved leave e.g. a career break, their membership of their pension scheme remains unchanged and they will continue to accrue pension benefits in the scheme on return. However if the absence was not approved leave and they have a break in public sector employment in excess of 26 weeks, on return they will become members of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme. Their pension entitlement, if any, accrued under their previous pension scheme will be preserved. All teachers who joined the public service on or after 1 January 2013 and who are working in a pensionable post are in the Single Public Service Pension Scheme.