Senators and TDs of a Dail committee have accepted legislation that ensures workers get 10 days of sick pay each year. This legislation will be protected by law and enforceable by the Workplace Relations Commission and the courts.
In a phased approach, workers will now be entitled to three days of paid sick leave from employers. They will be entitled to up to 70% of the day’s pay and this will be capped at €110.
The six pay will also go up to five days payable in 2023 and then up to seven days in 2024. The final year of the phasing, 2025 will see employers paying 10 days each year.
Enterprise Minister, Leo Varadkar announced the plan initially last June and it was supposed to come into place by January 1st of 2022. However, the number of legislative delays has meant it will be later this year before it becomes law.
The legislation has now passed its most challenging hurdles in the pollical process, pre-legislation scrutiny. It is expected to pass all remaining votes in the Seanad and the Dail with all-party support.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Maurice Quinlivan, Committee Cathaoirleach, and Sinn Fein TD said: “Ireland is an outlier as one of the few advanced countries in Europe with no mandatory sick pay scheme. At present, there is no statutory obligation on an employer to pay for a medically-certified absence of an employee due to illness.”
He adds: “While many employers do provide such sick pay, employees who do not receive such sick pay are disadvantaged. We also know that it may act to encourage such employees to attend for work even though they are ill. In the context of the current public health situation, this is very undesirable.”
Maurice Quinlivan said that the committee still has some things they would like to see change. He explains, “The committee has concerns about the requirement of medical certification and does not want the requirement to act as an additional obstacle in accessing this important right.”
“However, the committee also realises the careful balance of an employer’s right to request medical certification in certain cases where the timing and frequency of an illness may be questioned and the cost burden that will arise for employers, in particular small business employers, with the phased graduation of days in the coming years, up to 2025.”