Ireland – Increase to paid statutory sick leave entitlement

What’s new?

From 1 January 2024, the statutory entitlement to paid sick leave in Ireland will increase to five days. This is an increase of two days from the current entitlement for 2023 of three days, a change coming into effect in accordance with the Government’s plan to incrementally increase this until it becomes ten days in 2026.

 

How does this change impact employees?

Employees will be paid statutory sick leave by their employer for any illness incurred up to five days in a calendar year. Where an employee is absent for less than five days for their first illness, any unused days will be applied to any further illnesses in the same calendar year. Employees cannot carry forward any unused statutory sick leave from a previous year. Additionally, as this entitlement is the minimum standard set by the Government, it will not affect employees who benefit from greater sick leave through their employer.

Once an employee has exhausted their statutory sick leave, they should check if they are eligible for “Illness Benefit” from the Government. If an employee qualifies for statutory sick leave and Illness Benefit, any receipt of Illness Benefit will only start once all their statutory sick leave has been used.

Who will be eligible?

The entitlement of five days applies to full-time and part-time employees. To be eligible, employees must continue to satisfy the requirements under The Sick Leave Act 2022, such as having completed 13 weeks service with their current employer and submitted a valid medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner. Those who qualify will be paid 70% of their normal gross daily pay up to a maximum of €110.

So, what should employers do now?

Employers should familiarise themselves with the increased entitlement and review their internal processes and policies to ensure compliance (including updating any template contracts where applicable). If you need any support with this, or would like any further information, please get in touch with a member of the MDR ONE team.

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