Ifac advises employers to keep their records in order and to budget for new statutory sick pay

This January, Ifac, Ireland’s farming, food and agribusiness specialist professional services firm, is advising employers to make sure their records are kept in order when it comes to employee sick leave and to budget for the additional payroll costs for the new statutory sick pay. 

New legislation comes into effect this month which 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. 

The Sick Leave Act requires employers to provide employees with up to three days of statutory sick pay in 2023, rising to ten days per annum by 2026. 

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.

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.”

Impact on Employers

Under the new legislation, the minimum standard of statutory sick pay that employers must provide is set at 70% of the employee’s wage, subject to a daily maximum threshold of €110. The Act does not prevent employers from offering more attractive sick pay benefits. 

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.

If you require further information about statutory sick pay or have questions about how the new rules will affect your business, help is available from ifac’s HR & Payroll Services team at www.ifac.ie or on 1800 714 050.

Ifac has been at the heart of agriculture and food since 1975, providing a quality service and expert advice to its farming, food, and agri-business clients across the country. A top ten accountancy firm, ifac has over 30 locations nationwide and 500 people serving 22,000 clients. 

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