Statutory Sick Leave in Ireland
The legislation providing for the new Statutory Sick Leave entitlement to all employees was passed on 20 July 2022, with an effective date of 1 January 2023.
This means that all employees who have worked for a minimum of 13 weeks for their employer will be entitled to 3 days of Statutory Sick Leave for the 2023 calendar year which includes pay, the amount of which will be the lesser of
- 70% of the employee’s daily rate of pay; or
The entitlement of 3 days will be for the calendar year of 2023 and will increase each year until reaching the envisioned maximum of 10 days of Sick Leave per year by 2026. Each year’s entitlement has been confirmed as follows:
- 3 days per year for 2023;
- 5 days per year for 2024;
- 7 days per year for 2025; and
- 10 days per year from 2026.
Employees must be certified as unfit to work by a Doctor to qualify for the leave day. While employees should be encouraged to submit a medical certificate as soon as possible, they would still be entitled to take Sick Leave for any day covered by the medical certificate, even if it is submitted several weeks later.
Where an employee has exhausted their statutory entitlement, they will still be entitled to claim Illness Benefit from the Department of Social Protection.
The new statutory scheme does not apply to employers who already provide Sick Pay or a similar scheme in their business, which can be seen as being more favourable than the benefits provided by the new statutory scheme. The new statutory scheme is intended to be a minimum entitlement for all employees.
Employers must note that the Act is quite clear that records must be retained by them for a period of at least 4 years as an administrative requirement. These records should include
- the employee’s period of employment;
- dates of statutory sick leave taken; and
- the rate of pay paid to the employee for sick leave taken.
SimplePay has always intended to roll out a built-in leave item to cater for Sick Leave as well as the automated calculation of their applicable sick pay for days taken.
The regulations, although valuable, have not clarified all uncertainties which exist around the implementation of the rate of pay calculations. We remain motivated to implement this as soon as possible, however, we find that further input and clarification will be required before we can create a SimplePay feature for this.
The employer guide on how to apply this is expected by mid-January 2023 and we have the legal specialists in our team engaging with the respective bodies to remedy this as soon as possible.
As outlined in our previous blog post, our system is set up to allow a manual capture of this so those employers who need to capture Sick Leave from 1 Jan 2023 can do so by making use of custom items as outlined in the blog post. Please note: We highly recommend you use this method as the three days Sick Leave for 2023 are in fact mandatory at the minimum pay stated above.
Should you choose to use the manual method, you will then be able to simply use our new leave type to capture the days after it’s been released.
Please feel free to contact [email protected] if you need any assistance.
Not yet a SimplePay client but want to experience seamless payroll no matter what changes in legislation or policy occur? The good news is that we offer a 30-day free trial and sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here.