The Government has announced that the entitlement to paid sick leave will increase from three to five days on 1 January 2024.
It is the second stage of a four-year plan which will see employer-paid sick leave gradually rise to ten days in 2026.
The move is designed to ensure that all employees get a minimum level of financial compensation if they are unable to work due to illness or injury.
From next year, workers will be entitled to up to five days of sick leave in a year, paid at 70% of gross earning, up to a cap of €110.
It is primarily intended to provide sick pay coverage to those employees, often in low-paid and precarious roles, who do not have access to a company sick leave scheme.
The scheme offers a floor level of protection and does not interfere with existing, more favourable, sick pay schemes.
“This gradual increase in paid sick leave gives employers time to adjust and to plan for its introduction, but also gives workers certainty about their own rights,” said Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond.
“Although the Government is acutely aware that small businesses are concerned with the overall cost of doing business, the solution is not to dilute workers’ rights but to provide targeted measures to support businesses.”
“The Increased Cost of Business Scheme, announced in Budget 2024, will provide direct financial support to small businesses who are most impacted by increased costs,” Mr Richmond said.