The Sick Leave Bill 2022 (the Bill), which provides for a statutory sick pay scheme for the first time in Ireland for all employees in both the public and private sector, was passed by Seanad Éireann on 5 July 2022.

The Bill will now be returned to Dáil Éireann for final approval before signing and enactment by the President, which is expected to happen before the summer recess.

Under Irish law, an employer is not obliged to continue paying an absent employee on the grounds of illness. When enacted, the Bill proposes entitling employees to paid statutory sick leave for up to 3 days per year at a payment rate of 70% of their normal wages (up to a maximum of €110 per day). The paid statutory sick leave period will increase to five days in 2024, seven days in 2025, and 10 days in 2026. We previously reviewed the objectives of the Bill here.

It is anticipated that the Bill will be signed into law in the coming weeks. Businesses and organisations are advised to put in place a sick pay policy, if not yet implemented, or align current employee handbooks and/or policies accordingly.

Once enacted, it remains to be seen whether the Bill will come into effect immediately or later.

See Sick Leave Bill 2022 here.