New sick leave law comes into effect
A new statutory entitlement to employer-paid sick leave has come into effect with the beginning of the new year.
Workers are now entitled to up to three days’ employer-paid sick leave in a year, paid at 70 per cent of gross salary up to a cap of €110 per day.
Under the Sick Leave Act 2022, it is intended that the entitlement will rise to up to 10 days’ sick leave in a year by 2026.
Enterprise, trade and employment minister Simon Coveney said: “This new entitlement to paid sick leave is the latest in a series of improvements to rights and social protections for workers and the self-employed in recent years.
“As with all workers’ rights legislation, this new law sets out the minimum standard that an employer must provide. Many employers have superior sick pay schemes to help attract and retain staff or on foot of an agreement with a trade union.”
Where an employee has an extended period of illness, the scheme will operate seamlessly with the existing illness benefit system which kicks in on day four of an absence. Once the employee has exhausted their entitlement to employer-paid sick leave, they will move onto illness benefit, if eligible.
In addition, the National Minimum Wage has increased from €10.50 to €11.30 per hour. This 80 cent, or 7.6 per cent, increase will see someone on the National Minimum Wage working a 39-hour week receiving a pay increase of €31.20 per week or more than €120 per month, or €1,600 per annum.
Mr Coveney said: “Government has agreed to introduce a living wage by January 2026. This 80-cent increase will see at least an estimated 164,700 people get a boost to their wages.
“Corresponding increases have been made for those aged under 20. I look forward to receiving the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations on these youth rates later this year.”