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Ireland: government looking to introduce a minimum of 10 days paid sick leave by 2025
Planet Labor, 10 June 2021, n°12570 - www.planetlabor.com

Following the opening of consultations in November 2020 over a legal framework for sick leave (c.f. article No.12229), the government has defined the outline of a new bill it will be submitting to Parliament. The proposed legislation will see all workers being entitled to a statutory minimum of 10 days’ paid leave from 2025, which gives employers time to prepare and plan for covering the additional costs involved (estimated at an average of 2.6% of salary by the Regulatory Impact Assessment). The reform will be implemented gradually starting with the right to 3 days in 2022, which rises to 5 days in 2023, 7 days in 2024, and finally 10 days in 2025. Companies will assume 70% of the cost of sick leave, up to a limit of €110 per day and per employee. Only employees with a minimum of 6 career months in the same company will be eligible. Workers with a medical condition requiring more than 10 days’ absence may be covered, beyond this period, by the Department of Social Protection illness benefit that is financed from employee pay related social insurance contributions. According to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, about 50 per cent of Irish employees are still not entitled to compensated sick leave. “I believe this reform is part of the pandemic dividend, the more inclusive economy and fairer society we are going to build once the pandemic is over. It’s not right that people feel forced to go to work when they are sick and it’s not good for public health,” he said. Ireland is one of the last European countries not to have a legal framework addressing the topic.