Changes in Statutory Sick Leave Entitlements for 2024
In a recent announcement, Minister of State for Business, Employment, and Retail, Neale Richmond TD, unveiled important updates regarding statutory sick leave entitlements in Ireland. As of January 1, 2024, employees will see an increase in their statutory sick leave from 3 to 5 days, with a gradual plan in place to reach 10 days by 2026.
What You Need to Know
The increase in paid sick leave is a significant step towards ensuring that all employees, particularly those in low-paid and precarious roles without access to company sick leave schemes, have a safety net in times of illness or injury. Workers will be entitled to up to 5 days of sick leave in a year, paid at 70% of gross earnings, up to a cap of €110.
Protecting Workers without Burdening Businesses
Acknowledging concerns from small businesses about increased costs, the government has introduced the Increased Cost of Business Scheme in the 2024 Budget. This initiative aims to provide direct financial support to small businesses most affected by rising costs, demonstrating a commitment to supporting both businesses and workers.
The Sick Leave Act 2022, which commenced on January 1, 2023, outlines a four-year plan to incrementally increase statutory sick leave entitlements. Stage 2 of the plan, beginning on January 1, 2024, will see the entitlement rise from 3 to 5 days per year.
Any unused sick leave will expire at the end of a calendar year.
Illness Benefit waiting days will not necessarily increase, as the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment collaborates with the Department of Social Protection to ensure a seamless interaction between both schemes.
Addressing Common Questions
Will part-time employees be entitled to 5 days?
Yes, the Act does not differentiate between full-time and part-time employees. However, the rate of pay is calculated based on average earnings, reflecting the relative earnings of a full-time and part-time employee.
Are employees entitled to 5 days from each employer if they have multiple employers?
Yes, once the 13-week service requirement for an employer is met, the employee is entitled to 5 days of statutory sick leave, provided a valid medical certificate is submitted.
As the statutory sick leave entitlement increases to 5 days in 2024, it is crucial for both employers and employees to be informed and prepared for these changes. The government’s commitment to supporting businesses while enhancing workers’ rights highlights a balanced approach to labor policies.
Stay tuned for further updates as we navigate these changes together.
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