Sick Pay Cuts in Public Sector

Current public sector sickness pay  arrangements mean that workers can get  six months of sick leave on full pay followed by six months on half pay within any period of four years when this is certified by a doctor.

These arrangements are to be cut after ruling by the  Labour Court  today.

Under the new Labour Court recommendation – certified sick leave will be reduced to three months’ full pay followed by three months’ half pay followed by “temporary rehabilitation pay” for a maximum period of two years in total. This period will include the three months’ full and three months’ half pay.

Uncertified sick leave will be cut from seven days in any 12-month period to seven days in any two-year period.

The new arrangements will introduce a critical illness provision. The court recommends that critical illness cover be provided for six months on full pay and six months on half pay.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said recently that the State’s bill of more than €500 million per year for sick leave in the public service was unsustainable.


The Minister had put forward proposals for reforming sick leave arrangements several months ago. However trade unions objected to the plans, and the issue ultimately went to the Labour Court for a binding ruling.


Mr Howlin today welcomed the Labour Court recommendation and said it would “pave the way for the introduction of a completely reformed new sick leave scheme for the public service”.