One step closer to implementation of Statutory Sick Pay

March 30, 2022

The Cabinet has signed off on proposed new laws on sick pay, which will make it mandatory for all employers to offer a minimum pay for absence leave for up to 3 days.

The Sick Leave Bill 2022 will soon be published and will makes it way through the Houses of the Oireachtas. Before now, Irish employers have not been obliged to pay employees during sick leave, but this imminent Statutory Sick Pay will change that.

Under the new regime, employees will have an entitlement to three days of paid sick leave this year. This is due to then go up to five next year, seven in 2024 and ten in 2025.

This legislation will not specify the amount of statutory sick pay; however, it provides that an employer must pay 70% of a worker’s wage to a maximum of €110 a day.

If an employer already provides more favourable sick leave benefits to an employee, they will not be obliged to comply with the statutory sick pay rules. An employer will have to demonstrate that any discretionary or pre-existing scheme is definitely more favourable than that provided for in the legislation.

An employee must obtain a medical certificate to avail of this statutory sick pay, and the entitlement is subject to the employee having worked for their employer for a minimum of 13 weeks. Once entitlement to sick pay from their employer ends, employees who need to take more time off may qualify for illness benefit from the Department of Social Protection subject to PRSI contributions.

Employers should be preparing for its implementation by reviewing current policy and practice and communicating with employees. You can contact emma on emma.crowley@sfa or ring 01 6051668 if you have any questions on the above.

The SFA will continue to provide updates on this issue in the coming weeks.