The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, has welcomed the new entitlement to employer paid sick leave which comes into effect. Workers will now be entitled to up to 3 days of employer-paid sick leave in a year, paid at 70% of gross salary up to a cap of €110 per day.
Minister Coveney said it was an important new employee entitlement, “this new entitlement to paid sick leaveis the latest in a series of improvements to rights and social protections for workers and the self-employed in recent years. As with all workers’ rights legislation, this new law sets out the minimum standard that an employer must provide. Many employers have superior sick pay schemes to help attract and retain staff or on foot of an agreement with a trade union.”
Where an employee has an extended period of illness, the scheme will operate seamlessly with the existing illness benefit system which kicks in on day four of an absence. Once the employee has exhausted their entitlement to employer-paid sick leave, they will move onto illness benefit, if eligible.
In addition, the National Minimum Wage increased from €10.50 to €11.30 per hour. This 80 cent, or 7.6%, increase will see someone on the National Minimum Wage working a 39-hour week, receiving a pay increase of €31.20 per week or more than €120 per month, or €1,600 per annum.
Minister Coveney said the increase was an important step in the progression to a living wage, “Government has agreed to introduce a living wage by January 2026. This 80-cent increase will see at least an estimated 164,700 people get a boost to their wages. Corresponding increases have been made for those aged under 20. I look forward to receiving the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations on these youth rates later this year.”