Statutory Sick Pay
The Government is currently drafting the Sick Leave Bill 2021 which will make it mandatory for employers in Ireland to provide Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employees.
The sick pay scheme aims to ensure that every worker in the private sector will have the security and peace of mind of knowing that if they fall ill and miss work, they will not lose out on a full day’s pay.
Currently, there is no legal obligation on employers in Ireland to pay employees who are on sick leave, and it is up to the discretion of each employer. At present, employees in companies who do not offer sick pay can apply for Illness Benefit after 3 days of illness. Different rates apply depending on the employee’s earnings – the maximum for those earning over €300 is €203 per week.
COVID-19 had a particular impact on those employees in companies where sick pay was not provided and highlighted the fact that Ireland is one of just three remaining countries in the EU not to have introduced a Statutory Sick Pay Scheme.
Implementation of SSP
The initial plan is to introduce SSP over a 4-year period commencing January 2022, as follows:
- 2022 – 3 days covered
- 2023 – 5 days covered
- 2024 – 7 days covered
- 2025 – 10 days covered
The rate of pay will be calculated on 70% of the employee’s wages (subject to a daily maximum of €110). The employee will have to obtain a medical certificate to avail of statutory sick pay, and the entitlement is subject to the employee having worked for their employer for a minimum of six months.
The daily earnings threshold of €110 is based on 2019 mean weekly earnings of €786.33 and equates to an annual salary of €40,889.16. It can be revised over time by ministerial order in line with inflation and changing incomes. Once entitlement to sick pay from their employer ends, employees who need to take more time off may qualify for Illness Benefit from the Department of Social Protection subject to PRSI contributions.
If you have any questions on Statutory Sick Pay, please get in touch with our team by email, email@example.com, or phone to 021 486 1486.