Sick pay schemes and social
Companies are not
required to provide occupational sick pay schemes for staff. However, if an
employee has a contract which includes sick pay entitlement from the employer,
then a right to sick pay exists.
Employers in some
industries (drapery, electrical contractors, construction for example) are
obliged to provide sick pay under long-standing agreements.
With some sick pay
schemes, the payment of benefit may start on the first day of absence, or there
may be a waiting period of some days.
While some companies
may not have formal sick pay schemes, it may actually be custom to pay
employees when absent due to illness. However, most companies will require that
staff notify them on or before the first day of absence. In most cases, a
medical certificate will be required on or after the first day of absence.
Follow up certificates will be required if the illness continues for a longer
Under the Organisation
of Working Time Act 1997, any day where a person is certified as unfit for
work, can not be regarded as a day of annual leave.
Social welfare entitlements
If you can not work due
to sickness, you may also be entitled to a range of social welfare payments
including: disability benefit, invalidity pension, occupational injury benefit
and disablement benefit.
The cost of these is
covered by social insurance contributions (PRSI) from employers and employees.
This is paid for
periods when an employee is unfit for work due to illness. It starts on the
fourth day and may continue up to 52 weeks where a claimant has paid between 39
and 259 PRSI contributions. Where more contributions have been made, the
benefit may continue until age 66 years.
This benefit is subject
to tax after the first six weeks. The Department of Social and Family Affairs
notifies employers of the amount of disability benefit an employee is entitled
to receive while out sick.
This is paid instead of
Disability benefit where an employee has not be able to work for at least a
year. The benefit continues for as long as the employee is permanently unable
Occupational injury benefit
This is paid where an
employee is certified as being unable to work due to an injury or disease
contracted at work. Payment is made from the fourth day of absence up to 26
weeks, when Disability benefit or disablement benefit may be paid. Occupational
injury benefit is subject to tax after six weeks.
This is paid where an
employee suffers a loss of physical or mental faculty as a result of
occupational injury or disease. The payment level depends on the degree of
disablement. A lump sum may be paid or, a pension.
For more information on
your sick pay entitlements contact the :
Department of Social
and Family Affairs at 1890 202 325 or see http://www.welfare.ie/