Previously it was the case that employees had no legal right for remuneration when on sick leave, however new legislation has overhauled this norm.
Statutory Sick Pay – Sick Leave Act 2022
In July 2022, the Sick Leave Act 2022 became law which introduces:
- Paid sick leave for a maximum number of days, on an increasing basis of 3 days in year 1, increasing to; 5 days in year 2, increasing to; 7 days in year 3, increasing to; 10 days in year 4
- A rate of remuneration for statutory sick leave of 70% of the employee’s normal wages to be paid by employers (up to a maximum of €110 per day).
- A right for employees to make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission if they are not provided with a company sick pay scheme.
The stipulations to this new law is that employees must work for the employer, for a minimum of thirteen weeks, as well as being certified as unfit to work by the employee’s GP.
If unable to work due to sickness or injury, and an employee has enough PRSI contributions, a person can apply for Illness Benefit through the Department of Social Protection (DSP).
Although many employers already provide sick pay to their employees, this statutory scheme provides minimum protection to employees who were not previously afforded this.
To reflect the latest legislation, employers should endeavour to update their existing policies and staff contracts to ensure that it complies with the statutory sick pay scheme.
A medical certificate must be submitted and signed by a registered medical practitioner, even where there there is only a one-day sick absence. There is no legal requirement for the employer to pay for the obtainment of the medicinal certificate.