All workers in Ireland to be entitled to 10 days' paid sick leave by 2025
Employees will be required to provide a medical certificate to avail of the statutory sick pay.
All workers in Ireland will have the right to be paid for up to 10 days of sick leave each year by 2025, under new plans agreed by the government on Wednesday.
The new statutory sick pay scheme will be phased in over a four-year period, starting with three days per year in 2022, rising to five days payable in 2023, seven days payable in 2024 and 10 days payable in 2025.
Under the plans, employers will eventually cover the cost of 10 sick days per year in 2025; however, it is being introduced on a phased basis to give employers an opportunity to prepare for any additional costs.
An employee will have to obtain a medical certificate to avail of statutory sick pay, and will have to have worked for their employer for a minimum of six months.
The news was welcomed by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who said it was not right that employees felt forced to go to work when they are sick, and that it was also not good for public health.
“Ireland is one of the few advanced countries in Europe not to have a mandatory sick pay scheme and although about half employers do provide sick pay, we need to make sure that every worker, especially lower paid workers in the private sector, have the security and peace of mind of knowing that if they fall ill and miss work, they won’t lose out on a full day’s pay," Varadkar said.
"I believe this scheme can be one of the positive legacies of the pandemic as it will apply to illness of all forms and not just those related to Covid.”
There will be a cap on sick pay at a rate of 70% of an employee’s wage, subject to a daily threshold of €110.
The government said the daily cap is in place to ensure excessive costs are not placed solely on employers, some of who may struggle with the cost of replacing sick staff on short notice.