On 5th November 2021, the Government has published the Sick Leave Bill 2021 which provides further details on the statutory sick leave payments for Employees.
The Bill provides that an Employee, subject to their having 13 weeks continuous service with their Employer shall be entitled to up to and including 3 sick leave days per annum, or such additional number of statutory sick leave days as may stand specified from time to time by order of the Minister. Amendments to the number of sick leave days provided for can be brought forward by the Minister following consideration of the economic climate and the possible impacts an amendment will have on both Employers and Employees.
The Government’s statutory sick pay will be phased in over a four-year period, starting with three days per year in 2022, rising to five days payable in 2023 and seven days payable in 2024. Employers will eventually cover the cost of 10 sick days per year in 2025.
The payment rate for statutory sick pay has been set at 70% of the Employees’ normal rate, subject to a maximum of €110 per day. The Employer must deduct taxes in the normal manner and the Employee has to be medically certified as unfit for work to qualify for statutory sick pay.
Employers will have to retain records of all statutory leave taken by their Employees for a period of 4 years and Employees maintain all existing employment rights when availing of benefits under the proposed Statutory Sick Pay legislation. The right to sick pay will be legally enforceable by employees through the Workplace Relations Commission and the Courts. Remedies available to successful complainants will include an award of compensation up to a maximum of 20 weeks remuneration.