In advance of the commencement of the debate on the Statutory Sick Pay Bill 2022 in the Oireachtas this week, CSNA has written to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to outline once again some issues that our members have with the Bill in its current state.
Our key concern is the lack of provision in the Bill for small businesses to offset the impact of the double cost arising from having to pay both (statutory) sick pay and having to pay for a replacement worker when someone goes out sick.
Mr Varadkar previously stated that he would cap the employer requirement at 70% to limit the burden on businesses – but in reality, our sector and many like us will suffer a 170% impact arising from this measure for the reasons outlined above. This is fundamentally unfair, disproportionate and overly onerous for a vulnerable business sector. We have called on the government to now take action to protect small business.
We have called for clarification from Mr Varadkar that the benefits in respect of statutory sick pay would be in respect of a calendar year for ease of administration.
We have requested that the Tánaiste make a clear and unambiguous commitment in todays’ 2nd stage debate to address the substantive issue of the ‘Double whammy’ and put to rest the serious concerns that now exist across a range of small business sectors around the country. CSNA continue to support the principle of this legislation, but steps must be taken to avoid these potentially detrimental and I am sure unintended consequences for small business.
The Association has requested an opportunity to discuss our proposed approach with the Tánaiste and his officials at their very earliest convenience.
CSNA will continue to monitor and update members on this matter.