Upcoming Increases to Statutory Sick Pay

Since January 1, 2023, the statutory sick leave scheme came into effect under The Sick Leave Act 2022. The legislation established a statutory sick pay scheme for all Employees in Ireland allowing for up to 3 sick days per year.

The Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail announced in the last few weeks the commencement of the increased provisions next year. From January 1, 2024, the provision for paid sick leave will increase from 3 to 5 days of statutory sick leave. Employers should amend their policies appropriately to ensure compliance from early next year.

Commencement of Domestic Violence Leave

The Government recently confirmed the effective date of implementation for the new provision of domestic violence leave under the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023.

Effective from Monday, November 27th, 2023, the legal entitlement of up to five days paid leave over a period of 12 months came into effect, making available this new statutory entitlement to all Employees affected by domestic violence.

To implement domestic violence leave effectively, it is recommended that Employers embed this support measure within a wider organisational response to domestic abuse, outlined in a workplace domestic violence policy. Compliance with this provision of the Act means that a robust policy is put in place both capturing the legal entitlements and the Organisations approach to support.

Parental Bereavement Leave (Amendment) Bill 2021

Offering support to Employees who are grieving the loss of a child can be a very challenging topic for an Employer to navigate with an empathetic but structured approach. Ensuring that you are aware of the current legislation that covers this sensitive area is important.

The amendment to the Parental Leave Acts 1998 and 2006 to the Parental Bereavement Leave (Amendment) Bill 2021 was proposed to make provisions for an entitlement to bereavement leave, for an Employee who had been bereaved of a child.

The main provisions of the Bill are:

  • To provide an entitlement of parental bereavement leave to an Employee
  • A child is construed as being a child under the age of 18 years including a stillborn child born after the 24th week of pregnancy.
  • Parental bereavement leave is for a period of not less than 10 working days and shall be taken before the end of a period of 42 days of a child’s passing.
  • Where an Employee is entitled to Parental Bereavement leave, as a result of the death of more than one child, the Employee shall be entitled to parental bereavement leave in respect of each child.
  • Parental bereavement leave will not impact the rights and entitlements of an Employee and shall be treated as part of any other leave to which the Employee concerned is entitled.
  • While an Employee is on parental bereavement leave, they are regarded for all purposes relating to their employment as still working in the employment concerned and none of their rights relating to employment shall be affected by this leave.

While the importance of the Parental Bereavement Leave (Amendment) Bill cannot be understated, the Bill has been in the Second Stage of Dáil Éireann since 2021 implying that it could be some time before it is enacted.