Statutory Sick Pay to be introduced

On 5th November 2021 the Government published the Sick Leave Bill 2021. This followed on from the announcement on 9th June 2021 by Leo Varadkar TD, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, that a new law was to be enacted that would give workers the right to paid sick leave by their employer. This would be phased in over a four-year period commencing on 1st January 2022 and would provide up to 10 days of paid sick leave for workers per year by 2025.


In line with the provisions of the Bill, employees would be entitled to 3 statutory sick leave days per annum. Employees must have completed 13 weeks continuous service with the employer (regardless of the number of hours worked) to be entitled to a statutory sick leave day.

The legislation, if enacted in the current form, will apply to any person

  • working under a contract of employment or apprenticeship;
  • employed through an employment agency or
  • holding office under or in the service of the State

The Bill provides that the statutory sick leave days can be consecutive or non-consecutive and employees must provide the employer with a medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner stating that the employee named in the certificate is unable to work.

The employer must pay the employee a prescribed daily rate of payment in respect of each statutory sick leave day and must keep a record of the statutory sick leave taken by its employees. These records must be maintained for a period of 4 years (and failure to do so without reasonable cause is an offence under the legislation).

An employees’ rights are protected which on statutory sick leave which means the employee shall be treated as if they had not been absent and such absence shall not affect any right related to the employee’s employment.
The legislation, if enacted in the current form, prohibits an employer from penalising or threatening to penalise an employee for proposing to exercise or having exercised his or her entitlement to statutory sick leave.

The Bill is due to be enacted by the end of 2021 and we await to see what amendments will be introduced as it makes its way through the Dail and Seanad.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be delighted to assist.

The information in this article is provided as part of Action HR Services Blog. Specific queries should be directed to a member of the Action HR Services Team and it is recommended that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article. This article is correct at 18/11/2021.