As most employers are probably now aware, the Government of Ireland has long held an intention to implement a Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) entitlement scheme applicable to all employees. In this blog post we’ll look at the current legislative status of SSP as well as SimplePay’s readiness in actioning final provisions when they become available.
The draft legislation for SSP was published in the beginning of November 2021 and indicated that an official SSP would be effective from 1 January 2022.
As things stand, Government has announced the following conditions related to SSP in draft form:
- Employees will be entitled to 3 days of paid sick leave in 2022. This is planned to increase to 5 days in 2023, 7 days in 2024 and 10 days in 2025;
- Employers will be required to pay their employees, who take sick leave, a minimum of 70% of normal wages (up to a maximum €110 per day);
- Employees will be required to get certified as unfit to work by a General Practitioner on days where sick leave is taken;
- Employees will be given the right to lodge a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission where they are not provided with a company sick pay scheme. An employee will only be entitled to this paid sick leave once they have been employed by their employer for at least 6 months.
While the final legislation for SSP is expected by the end of this year, no exact timeline has been provided and the bill is still under legislative scrutiny.
Effect of Delay
Due to the uncertainty regarding the effective date for SSP and our commitment to keeping our customers’ payroll compliant, we will only look to make changes to our system after the final legislation has been signed into law and the rules regulating the calculation of the Sick Leave Pay have been clearly defined.
Please be assured that our legal team is actively monitoring the progression of the Sick Leave bill through the Dáil and Seanad and will initiate any required system changes as soon as possible after the final legislation is signed into law.
Interim Solution on SimplePay
For employers wishing to pay their employees a reduced pay whilst on sick leave, regardless of the signoff of the final bill, SimplePay can provide an interim solution that will allow you to do so. This can be implemented as follows:
Step 1 - Create Custom Leave Type
This step will require the creation of a custom leave type and entitlement which will be applied to your company. The steps required for doing so are outlined in detail on our Custom Leave Types help page.
- When creating the entitlement policy for the new leave type, be sure to set the Default entitlement field to a minimum of 3 days and the Entitlement only available after field to a maximum of 6 months.
- You can also check the Use upfront accrual? checkbox if you would like to allow the full sick leave entitlement to be awarded to the employee at the start of the year.
Step 2 - Create Custom Pay Item
You will then need to create a custom income item in order to make the adjustments to an employee’s pay for days on sick leave. You should specify the item with the input type, set as “Once-off for specified payslips”. You can find the steps to create such an item on our Custom Items help page.
- When created, the custom item can be added from the Payslip inputs menu on the relevant payslip (where an employee takes sick leave).
- You can use the same method whether the employee has a fixed salary or is hourly paid however when adding the item to an employee’s payslip, the setup will differ:
- Fixed salary - the employee will get paid their full rate and you can input the amount on the custom pay item as a negative income amount in order to reduce the employee’s pay as needed; or
- Hourly paid - days on sick leave will not count as hours worked and the amount on the custom income item can be input as a positive income amount in order to reflect what is paid to the employee for those days off sick.
- The exact amounts used on the setup will be dependent on how your company currently treats SSP internally.
Should you have any questions on how to set up the above or even just about SimplePay or any of our other services, please feel free to contact [email protected] for assistance.
Wishing all of our clients a safe and joyous festive season.