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Sick leave and pay


There is no legislation setting minimum pay entitlements for employers to pay employees when they are on sick leave. Therefore, any payments are down to agreement between employer and employee. Contracts of employment should set out clearly any entitlements for pay during sickness absence; employers should be careful that any entitlements are applied equally and do not constitute discrimination under the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 - 2015.

Employees may be able to claim benefits from the State if they meet certain qualifying conditions.

It is common, when employers have contractual sick pay schemes, to include provision within that scheme for payment to be offset against any state benefit received in order to avoid the employee receiving a windfall during sickness absence. There may also be qualifying conditions attached eg the production of medical certificates

Recent developments 

Updates to illness benefit

As part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, employees who are advised to self-isolate will be entitled to an enhanced Illness Benefit of €350 per week which will be available from the first day of the employee’s absence rather than after six days under existing rules.

Employees will not need to have made the minimum number of PRSI contributions, but will require medical certification to avail of the benefit. Emergency legislation will be passed to provide for the new benefit.

Sick Leave Bill 2021

This Bill provides that all full-time and part-time employees will eventually be entitled to ten days, or two weeks, of sick pay per year.

Initially, it will be paid at 70% of regular earnings up to €110 per day, from the first day of illness, and this can be varied by ministerial order.

Entitlement will then increase to five days in 2023 followed by seven days in 2024. In 2025, eligible employees will be entitled to 10 paid sick days per year.

Employees will need at least six months' service in order to be eligible for this sick pay. In addition, they must produce a medical certificate to their employer.