The entitlement to Sick Pay starts on 1 January 2023, workers will have a right to Paid sick leave for up to:
· 3 sick days per year in 2023
· This will increase to 5 days in 2024
· 7 days in 2025
· 10 days in 2026
The Sick Leave Act 2022 has allowed those employees who previously did not receive any sick pay entitlements in the past to now receive up to 70% of their daily wage due to being sick. Ireland has been an outlier among developed countries in not providing for statutory paid sick leave, so with this new Act, things are set to change. The new entitlement amounts to a valuable public health measure, reducing the risk of workplace accidents and the likelihood of infectious disease transmission in the workplace, according to Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said in its statement, that “It will not prevent employers having superior sick pay schemes of their own to attract and retain staff or on foot of an agreement with a trade union,”
To qualify for Illness Benefit, employees must:
◾ Be under 66 years of age
◾ Have accrued enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions
◾ Apply within six weeks of becoming ill
◾ Both full and part-time employees will be entitled to avail of sick pay under the scheme
◾ Employees must have been employed by the business for a minimum of 13 weeks of continuous service.
◾ They must provide a GP certificate, confirming they’re unfit for work and indicating their expected return date.
◾ The leave must be in relation to a day or days when an employee would ordinarily work but is incapable of working due to illness or injury.
◾ The leave can be taken on consecutive days or non-consecutive days
Employees will receive 70% of their wage while on sick leave. However, a daily cap of €110 applies.
Some employees may not have accrued sufficient PRSI contributions to qualify for Illness Benefit. Employers should signpost these employees to seek assistance from their Community Welfare Officer.
In the event of an extended illness, the scheme will operate in tandem with the existing illness benefit system which kicks in on day four of an absence.
Employers who genuinely cannot afford SSP can apply to the Labour Court for an exemption from the scheme. Such an exemption can apply to the employer for between three months to a year.
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