Statutory Sick Pay
Statutory sick pay legislation is imminent; last year, the Government published its long-awaited draft of the Sick Leave Bill 2021 (the Bill). This legislation is still undergoing review and is expected to be implemented by May this year.
Businesses who, to date, have not offered sick pay to employees for illness/injury related absences, will now be obliged to pay 3 days sick pay later this year, rising to 5 in 2023, 7 in 2024 and ultimately 10 days by 2025.
The indication is that it will initially be paid at a rate of 70% of an employee’s gross wage, subject to a daily threshold of €110 from the first day of illness, and this can be varied by ministerial order.
This will be a major change for Irish employers in terms of costs and absence management. Therefore, it is crucial for employers to promptly manage employee’s absence from day one, to ensure a safe and efficient return to work. Given this will be an additional cost burden on employers, companies will need to plan for the potential impact of the scheme and consider if changes to existing policies are required once the new scheme is introduced.
Employers can access resources including an employer’s guide on Managing Absences and a sample absence policy on the SFA website. Playback of Medmark’s webinar an Insight into the use of Occupational Health Service available here here.
There are a number of issues with this expected legislation which we are addressing with government. We will keep you all in the loop and give you more information as soon as we can.
Let me know if you have questions. If you see any other challenges with this Statutory Sick Pay scheme, please let me know also and we can address it with Government.