The entitlement to sick pay starts on 1 January 2023 and will be rolled out over four years, once the Act is commenced.
Statutory Sick Pay Scheme – Key elements
Take into account that both full and part-time employees can avail of paid leave.
Employees with at least 13 weeks’ service will be entitled to 3 days of paid sick leave in year one.
The service must be continuous.
Sick days may be taken either consecutively or non-consecutively during the year.
Employees must provide the employer with a medical certificate from a certified registered medical practitioner and the certificate must state that the employee is unfit for work due to their illness or injury.
The leave must be in relation to a day or days when an employee would ordinarily work but is incapable of working due to illness or injury.
Employees who avail of sick leave will be protected from penalisation and should be treated as if they were not absent from work, such as while on annual or maternity leave.
While the Act provides for three days paid leave in 2023, the number of days will increase incrementally as follows:
2024 5 days
2025 7 days
2026 10 days
The eventual 10 days, or two working weeks, of sick pay per year will be in addition to other leave entitlements including annual leave, parental and maternity leave as well as public holidays.
Statutory sick pay will be subject to tax in the same manner as normal pay.
More headaches and more costs for employers!
Employers must retain a specific record of employees who avail of SSP for a period of 4 years.
Do your contracts of employment contain sections covering sick pay that are up to date with the new legislation?
If not, then you need to amend your contracts and policies accordingly.
The requirement for employees to produce a medical certificate on the first day’s absence before they will qualify for statutory sick pay
Be aware to ensure you are fully compliance.
Review your contracts of employment, handbook and policies to ensure they align with the new legislation. Look at ways to incentivise or reward staff who do not take sick days.
In conclusion, build in this additional cost of your employees going forward. If each of your employees were to take 10 days sick and you the employer has to cover this cost then this could amount to a tidy sum.
Don’t forget to check out our other recent blogs – NEW REVENUE REPORTING ON EXPENSES COMING