Here in Ireland – there was no legal right to sick pay for employees until January 2023.
Since 1 January 2023, employees have a right to at least 3 days’ sick pay a year. This is called statutory sick pay . Sick pay is paid by your employer at 70% of your normal daily pay up to a maximum of €110 a day.
Your normal daily pay includes any regular bonus or allowance which does not change from week to week (but excludes overtime or commission).
If your pay changes from week-to-week (for example, because of regular bonus payments ), your sick pay is the average of your pay over the 13 weeks before you are on sick leave.
Most large employers will pay full pay for a certain number of weeks of sickness.
To qualify for statutory sick pay you must:
- Be an employee and have worked for your employer for at least 13 continuous weeks before you are sick
- Be certified by a GP as unable to work.
Ten Days Statutory Sick Pay by 2026
The entitlement to 10 days of paid sick leave a year is being phased in over 4 years:
- 2023 – 3 days
- 2024 – 5 days
- 2025 – 7 days
- 2026 – 10 days
Sick Pay in the Irish Public Sector
Civil Servants and Teachers in Ireland have a pay scheme that provides for the payment of the following to staff during absence from work due to illness or injury:
- A maximum of 92 days (13 weeks) on full pay in a rolling one year period
- Followed by a maximum of 91 days (13 weeks) on half pay in a rolling one year period
- Subject to a maximum of 183 days paid sick leave in a rolling four year period
COVID-19 Update – Public Servants – Any special leave with pay granted for the purpose of self-isolation or any diagnosis of COVID-19 will not be counted as part of public service / civil service employees sick leave record.
Private Sector Sick Pay
A 2019 survey of private sector employers found that only 44% had a sick pay top up scheme. Most large employers will pay full pay for a certain number of weeks of sickness.
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 normally apply for Illness Benefit within 7 days of becoming ill. No payment is made for the first 6 days of illness. (Details of Illness Benefit rates later). See the New rules on Illness Benefit for Coronavirus
Illness Benefit is paid for a maximum of:
- 2 years (624 payment days) if you have at least 260 weeks of PRSI contributions paid since you first started work.
- 1 year (312 payment days)- if you have between 104 and 259 weeks of 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. 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 is subject to PAYE only, it is not subject to USC or PRSI. Since 1st January 2018, employers are no longer required to tax Illness Benefit through the payroll. Instead, Revenue will adjust the employee’s tax credits and cut off points
Illness Benefit Rates 2023
- In 2023 – the top rate of Illness Benefit for someone earning €300 or more per week is €220 a week . Rates are lower if your earnings are below €300 a week. (See Here)
Illness Benefit is topped up by
- €146 for a dependant partner/spouse and
- €42 for each child under 12 years of age
- €50 for each child aged 12 years and over.
Usually, no payment is made for the first 6 days of illness and no payment is made for any Sunday during your illness.
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.
UK Statutory Sick Pay Lasts Longer
In the UK , workers can get up to £99.35 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are too ill to work. It’s paid by employers for up to 28 weeks. Many employers top this up to full pay for a limited number of weeks.