The suspension of career breaks for teachers is being considered by the Government to deal with a supply shortage.
An incorporeal Cabinet meeting was held yesterday as Education Minister Norma Foley is in Paris at an OECD meeting of Ministers.
It heard the suspension of non-statutory leave like career breaks is being considered as it places pressure on substitution teacher availability.
Eight hundred Hibernia College second-year students who have completed work placement may also be drafted in as subs in the coming weeks.
In response to the announcement, the Social Democrats' Education spokesperson Gary Gannon said: "The government appear to be panicking...and are now grasping at straws.
“Career breaks are only sanctioned where positions can be filled and the reality is that many of those who apply for a career break do so because they have caring duties in the home.
“It should also be noted that some TDs, who were teachers before their election to the Dáil, are currently on career breaks."
While the Teachers Union of Ireland believe that such a move would make the profession less attractive, which in-turn would make the teacher recruitment crisis worse.