On 20 July 2022, the Sick Leave Act 2022 became law and will be introduced later in 2022.
Once commenced, the Statutory Sick Pay scheme will introduce:
- Paid sick leave for up to 3 sick days per year.
- This is planned to increase to 5 days in year 2, 7 days in year 3 and 10 days in year 4.
- A rate of payment for statutory sick leave of 70% of normal wages to be paid by employers (up to a maximum €110 per day).
- A right for workers to take a complaint to the WRC where they are not provided with a company sick pay scheme.
- Employees must have completed 13 weeks continuous service. (Part Time & Full Time qualify) ∙
- The employee must provide their employer with a certificate from a registered medical practitioner and the certificate must state that the employee named is unfit to work due to their illness or injury.
- 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.
Additionally, once the entitlement to statutory sick pay from the employer ends, employees who haven’t recovered and are still unfit to return to work may qualify for Illness Benefit.
As an employer, you must keep proper records for each employee. The records must be maintained for four years and include information in relation to each employee who availed of sick leave. The following information must be included in the records:
- The employee’s period of employment
- The dates of statutory sick leave in respect of each employee
- The rate of statutory sick leave payment in relation to each employee.
An employer who fails to maintain accurate records may be convicted and subject to a fine of up to €2,500.
If an employee becomes ill during their annual leave and get a medical certificate for the days they are ill, these sick days will not be counted as annual leave days. These days can be used at a later date
If a full time employee is on sick leave during a public holiday, they can get sick pay or Illness Benefit for the public holiday they miss. Alternatively, you may treat them as not being on sick leave on the public holiday and pay as normal for that day. In this case, you do not count the public holiday as a sick leave day
If part-time employee is on sick leave during a public holiday, they are entitled to time off work for the public holiday provided they worked for you at least 40 hours in total over the previous 5- week period.
However, they are not entitled to pay or time off for the public holiday if they are on sick leave immediately before the public holiday, and either of the following apply:
They have been off work for more than 26 weeks due to an ordinary illness or an accident They have been off work for more than 52 weeks due to an occupational accident
You will need to review your contracts of employment in light of upcoming legislation
In light of the legislation changes outlined above, we strongly recommend you review your contracts of employment.
More information can be found here https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/3e3b2-all-irish-workers-will-be-entitled-to-sick-pay-for-the-first-time-under-new-law-tanaiste/#:~:text=The%20Sick%20Leave%20Bill%202022,a%20mandatory%20sick%20leave%20entitlement.
Please note, if you need help amending your contracts, or anything else relating to payroll, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us