Statutory Sick Pay Scheme

Here in Ireland  –  there is no statutory sick pay.

An employee has no right under employment law to be paid whilst on sick leave. It is at the discretion of  employers to decide their own policy on sick pay and sick leave, subject to the employee’s contract or terms of employment.

If an employee is not entitled to sick pay from their employer – they can claim  Illness Benefit (If they have paid enough PRSI )  . Sick employees must apply for Illness Benefit within 7 days of becoming ill. No payment is made for the first 6 days of illness.

Illness Benefit is paid for a maximum of:

  • 2 years (624 payment days) if you have at least 260 weeks of reckonable PRSI  contributions  paid since you first started work OR
  •  1 year (312 payment days) if you have between 104 and 259 weeks of reckonable PRSI paid since you first started work

Whether your employer pays you or not while you are off sick , you should claim Illness Benefit from the first day of your illness.  You may be entitled to PRSI credited contributions for each week you are ill, and these could help you qualify for future social welfare payments.

If you do get sick pay from work, you should ask your employer what administrative arrangements are in place while you are claiming Illness Benefit.

Illness Benefit Rates 2020

  • In 2020 – the top rate of Illness Benefit for someone  earning €300 or more per week is  €203 a week .
    This is topped up by
  •  €134.70 for a dependant partner/spouse and
  •  €34 for each child under 12 years of age
  •  €37 for each child aged 12 years and over.

In Ireland illness benefit payments in 2012 totalled €847 million .

You can get an Illness Benefit claim form (IB1) and a social welfare medical certificate (MED1) from your family doctor (GP). You fill out the IB1 claim form and your doctor completes the MED1 medical certificate.

Budget 2013 was expected to see the introduction of a Statutory Sick Pay scheme to make employers pay for the first four weeks of sick pay . But it never happenned.

Employers group IBEC claimed that the introduction of a statutory sick pay scheme in Budget 2013 would have damaging consequences on growth and jobs.

UK Sick Pay

In the UK , workers can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are  too ill to work. It’s paid by employers for up to 28 weeks.