Cabinet approves finalised Sick Pay Bill 2022
In July 2021, the Tánaiste received Cabinet approval to commence work on draft legislation which, if enacted, will see paid statutory sick leave introduced in Ireland for the first time. By way of update, the publication of the Government’s Sick Leave Bill 2022 (the Bill) was announced this week and will now progress through the usual legislative process.
The main points of the Bill as it stands
In its current form, the Bill introduces an employer obligation to pay staff with 13 weeks’ continuous service statutory sick leave pay where they become incapable of working due to illness or injury. This statutory sick leave pay is to be paid at a rate of 70% of an employee’s wage, subject to a daily maximum threshold of €110. This can be adjusted by ministerial order in the future to co-align with inflation and changing incomes.
The objectives of the Bill will be rolled out over a four-year period, and, subject to pre-legislative scrutiny, employees will be initially entitled to three days paid statutory sick leave which will then rise to five days in 2024, seven days in 2025, and eventually ten days in 2026.
See here for more detail on the Bill as addressed in previous publications.
What happens next?
The Bill is not yet law, so employers are not currently obliged by law to pay sick pay to its staff unless an individual’s employment contract provides for it. This Government-driven development, however, indicates that change is imminent and we recommend that employers monitor developments in this area closely over the coming months.
The proposed scheme will mandate that employers have a sick pay policy in place. Therefore, if not yet implemented by an organisation, we encourage those business to get ahead of the curve and introduce a sick pay policy to mitigate risks when the legislation does come into force. In addition, those employers with a sick pay policy will also need to undertake a review of their current employee handbooks to ensure that it aligns together with the predicted legal developments.
How Can We Help You?
For more information on this subject or any employment related matters please contact Jeffrey Greene or your usual William Fry contact.
See published Sick Leave Bill 2022 here