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Sick Pay Policies

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There is no legal entitlement to sick pay while an Employee is absent due to illness or injury. However, contractual sick pay entitlements are common practice in Ireland.

Legislation requires Organisations to provide information to Employees on any terms or conditions of work which relate to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury, including any provision for sick leave pay. The terms of eligibility and the extent of the entitlement can vary considerably and should be outlined within an Employee’s contract of employment and/or Sick Pay policy.

Examples of the provisions which are generally covered with a Sick Leave policy include:

Allowing for an element of discretion in relation to payment for sick leave so as to remind Employees that there is no automatic entitlement to such payments.

The notification requirements an Employee is required to comply with in the event they are unable to attend for work. An Employee will typically be required to speak directly with their Line Manager before a set timeframe on the first day of absence. The consequences of failure to do so, typically non-payment, should be clearly outlined.

The occasions when an Employee will be required to provide a medical certificate. This can vary from a self-certificate for sick leave periods of one or two day’s absence, to a requirement to present a medical certificate for sick leave absences of three days or more. For periods of longer term sick leave absence, follow up certificates are typically required weekly or bi-weekly, with an element of discretion dependent on the individual circumstances.

The information required on a medical certificate typically includes:

  • Date of issue;
  • Name and address of the doctor;
  • Name and address of the Employee;
  • Opinion of the doctor that the Employee is unfit for work due to illness / accident;
  • Expected duration of the illness;
  • Doctor’s signature.