New law will see workers entitled to 10 paid sick days
The new requirement kicks in from 2026.
A new law has been approved by The Cabinet which will see all workers in Ireland entitled to paid sick days for the first time.
The Sick Leave Bill 2022 allows all workers to benefit from 10 paid sick days a year, starting from 2026.
Currently, roughly half of all employees in Ireland are entitled to sick pay, but there remains a gap in entitlements between public and private sector workers.
Ireland is one of just a few European countries that does not have a mandatory sick leave entitlement.
To start, employers will have to provide three paid sick days per year once the Bill is enacted. This will rise to five days in 2024, seven days in 2025 and 10 days in 2026.
Employees will be paid a minimum of 70% of a their normal wage, subject to a daily maximum threshold of €110. They will have to provide a medical certificate to avail of the paid sick leave.
The Department of Enterprise said the the new Bill does not stop employers from offer better terms instead and unions can still negotiate for more via a collective agreement.
"The pandemic exposed the precarious position of many people, especially in the private sector and in low-paid roles, when it comes to missing work due to illness," said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
"No one should feel pressured to come to work when they are ill because they can't afford not to.
"We have made a big effort to design the scheme so that it’s easy to use, fair and affordable for employers.
"We’ve done a lot of consultation on this, with representatives from both the employee and employer side and although I know some will think it goes too far and others that it doesn’t go far enough, I think it has struck a fair and reasonable balance."