Alternative exams will be available if a student experiences a bereavement before or during the Leaving Cert, the Department of Education has announced.
It will apply to anyone who suffers a close bereavement during exam time, or in the two days prior to the exams.
Alternative exams will be provided for students from July 8th at a centre in Athlone, and will be held over five days.
Results will be announced at the same time as the main exam results on August 13th.
The changes are being introduced on a pilot basis, and will be reviewed 'straight away' in the summer ahead of potential legislation addressing the issue.
Education Minister Joe McHugh said the death of a loved one is a deeply traumatic event for any young person - adding that the trauma will be compounded if the death occurs during exam time.
He observed: "It's an attempt to bring about compassion and also understanding to the fact that students are already under immense pressure during the Leaving Cert, without having to go through the further duress of dealing with a loved one.
"My hope is that the new initiative will go a small way to easing the burden and stress of bereavement and giving students space to focus on their family."
Under the new scheme, a close relative is defined as a father, step-father, mother, step-mother, legal guardian, brother, step-brother, half-brother, sister, step-sister, half-sister, grandfather or grandmother.
It will also apply to any Leaving Cert students who experience the loss of a son, daughter, wife, husband or civil partner.