Sick Pay Scheme – Rebate Sought

Sick Pay Scheme – Rebate Sought

June 6th, 2022

According to the most recent statistics provided to the Oireachtas by the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, T.D., 74% of the total of PRSI contributions made by employers and employees comes from employers.

Of the €10.7 billion collected in 2020, €7.929 billion were employer’s contributions. It is not unreasonable to ask – what do they get for this?

CSNA has suggested that a rebate scheme be put in place to refund the cost of payments made for absent staff on sick leave where such staff are covered by a substitute – otherwise the employers in the labour-intensive sector such as convenience retailing, hospitality and childcare will suffer from the “double-whammy”- paying the sick employee and their replacement.

This is not so radical a proposal as it may appear – members with long memories will recall that employers were entitled to access the Social Insurance Fund through the old Department of Industry and Commerce Redundancy Payment Act 1979. For what was a 60% rebate on all redundancy payments, subsequently reduced to 15% before being eliminated altogether, the social insurance fund acted as a benefit to employers.

Employers are still paying through employers PRSI, the 0.5% rate set out in the legislation.  This equates to over €380 million per year paid by employers but never used for the purpose for which it was envisaged.

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