Donegal employers are being advised to take time this month to budget for the additional payroll costs for the new statutory sick pay.
Since January 1st, employers have a legal obligation to pay their staff during periods of absence through illness.
Workers have the right to paid sick leave for up to three sick days per year, which will increase in increments up to 10 days by 2026.
The rate of payment is 70% of normal wages, up to a maximum of €110 per day.
The new legislation aims to improve the rights of employees who currently do not receive sick pay from their employer and/or are not entitled to illness benefits from the Department of Social Protection.
Ifac, Ireland’s farming, food and agribusiness specialist professional services firm, is advising Donegal employers to make sure their records are kept in order when it comes to employee sick leave.
Ifac’s Head of HR & Payroll Services, Mary McDonagh, said: “As is always the case when managing people, employers need to ensure that they keep accurate sick leave records which they can rely on in the event of a Workplace Relations Commission investigation. These records should include the employee’s service history, statutory sick leave dates and payments made.”
Employers who do not already provide paid sick leave will need to budget for the additional payroll costs of complying with the new legislation, while those who do provide paid sick leave should check how their existing employee contracts may be affected.
To be eligible, employees must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 13 weeks and obtain a medical certificate. Employees who require additional sick leave after the statutory sick pay period expires may qualify for illness benefit from the Department of Social Protection if they have paid the necessary PRSI contributions.