Statutory Sick Pay Scheme – What You Need To Know, And What You Need To Do To Comply With Your New Legal Obligations

At the outset ,it should be explained that there is a difference between sick pay and statutory sick pay.

While some employers may already operate sick pay for some of their employees under the terms of their contract of employment, some of these employers will need to bring their company scheme in line with the statutory sick pay if it is less generous.

It’s very possible that some elements of the company scheme are more favourable, yet other aspects are not.

For those employers that do have a scheme, check
• The length of service before an employee becomes eligible for paid sick leave
• The period for which the sick leave is payable
• The number of days of absence that accrue before it is payable
• The amount of sick pay payable
• The reference period for comparison.
The Sick Leave Act states that to be eligible for paid sick leave, an employee must have worked for their employer for a period of at least 13 weeks.

If the Contract to your employee grants sick leave, but only after the employee has been with the company for a period greater than 13 weeks, you will need to amend this aspect.

In the first couple of years of the Act being in force, the number of leave days that an employer is legally obliged to pay will not, we suspect, create any difficulties for those employers that have stipulated an actual maximum number of sick leave days that the company is prepared to pay, but this may change after the number increases, as planned, to 7 days in 2025 and 10 days in 2026.

Payment will be 70% of gross normal earnings up to a maximum of €110 per day and applies from the first day of illness.

It is very likely that some employers would have set “their” payment after three days or even five days mirroring the State schemes and attempting to discourage absenteeism. The Act requires payment from the first day of illness. If the company contract is not as favourable ( either in the 70% or €110 per day), or only applies from a period later than first day of illness, the Contract will need to be amended to so reflect.

The Act provides that it is available to both full and part-time employees and that as long as the employee meets the criteria of 13 weeks service and the sick day falls on a day, they would be expected to work it must be paid, once there is a medical certificate to cover.