Jul 2022


Employee paid sick leave: What you need to know

As of the 20th of July 2022, the Sick Leave Bill 2022 became law. Once the law is commenced, all Irish workers are entitled to paid sick leave. It will be introduced to all workplaces across Ireland and will be phased in over four stages, over the next four years.

Unlike most of Europe, before this Bill was enacted, Ireland had no statutory paid sick leave scheme. This new law now aligns us more with the European standard of paid sick leave.

How much leave are employees entitled to?

Once the law is commenced, employees are now entitled to a maximum of 3 paid sick days per year and will be paid 70% of their normal wage for each paid sick day taken. This payment will be made by their employers, with a maximum limit of €110 to be paid per sick day taken.

The government’s plan is to increase the number of sick days covered to a maximum of five days in 2024, seven days in 2025, and 10 days in 2026.

Which employees are entitled to sick pay?

To qualify for paid sick leave, an employee must:

  • Be working for their employer for a minimum of 13 weeks.
  • Provide a medical certificate from their GP to prove they are or were unable to work.

Is there anything else I should know about the paid Sick Leave scheme?

Annual leave and paid sick leave

It’s important to note that sick leave days cannot count towards an employees’ annual leave, once they meet the Sick Pay scheme requirements. However, if an employee is out of work due to long-term illness, they can carry over the annual leave days they’ve missed due to their illness, for up to a maximum of 15 months.

Public holidays and sick leave

If a full-time employee gets sick during a public holiday, they are entitled to receive sick pay for the public holiday that they’ve missed, or they may be paid for the day as normal. Part-time employees are also entitled to benefit for a public holiday they were on sick leave for, once they’ve worked at least 40 hours over the previous five weeks.

Employees not provided with a paid sick leave scheme

If an employee qualifies for paid sick leave and their employer doesn’t provide a Sick Pay scheme, they have the right to file a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission. For further information, visit Citizens Information website.

Once the law has commenced, your payroll software should be updated to cater for this new employee entitlement. Here at BrightPay, we work hard in the background to provide you with the latest payroll news and legislative updates. Sign up to our weekly newsletter to stay in the loop. New to BrightPay? We are one of Ireland’s leading providers of payroll software for small businesses. Book a free 15-minute demo to see our award-winning payroll software in action today.

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Posted byEleanor Mc GuinnessinSick Leave/Absence Management