Statutory Sick Pay Scheme (SSP)

From 1 January 2023, employees have a right to 3 days’ sick pay a year. This is called statutory sick pay (that means the legal minimum).

While many employer’s already offer more generous sick pay arrangements. Any company sick leave scheme can’t be less than the statutory amount.

What is the new Statutory Sick Pay scheme (SSP)?

The Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is the legal minimum sick pay.

The entitlement to paid sick leave is being phased in over 4 years:

  • 2023 – 3 days covered
  • 2024 – 5 days covered
  • 2025 – 7 days covered
  • 2026 – 10 days covered

Sick days can be taken as consecutive days or non-consecutive days.

The sick pay year is the calendar year, which runs from 1 January to 31 December.

Employees can get sick pay of 70% of normal weekly pay, up to a maximum €110 a day.

The rules on the SSP are set out in the Sick Leave Act 2022

Who is entitled to Sick Pay?

To qualify for statutory sick pay an individual must:

  • Be an employee
  • Have worked for your employer for at least 13 continuous weeks before you are sick
  • Be certified by a GP as unable to work

Employees are entitled to sick pay when they are:

  • On probation
  • Undergoing training (interns)
  • An apprentice
  • An agency worker

Does an employee need a medical cert to get sick pay?

Yes, under the sick leave legislation, an employee must be certified by a GP as unable to work to qualify for statutory sick pay. An employee should be certified from day 1 of the sick leave.

An employee has a right to SSP from the first day they are off sick. An employer cannot apply ‘waiting days’.

A part time employee must be scheduled to work on the day they are sick in order to claim sick pay. If an employee leaves their place of work part way through a day this counts as a full day for the purpose of paid sick leave.

How is sick leave calculated?

Statutory sick leave payment must be paid at an employees normal daily rate. Employees are entitled to 70% of their normal pay, up to a maximum €110 a day.

What is normal daily pay?

Normal daily pay includes any regular bonus or allowance which do not change from week to week (but excludes overtime or commission).

If an employee’s pay changes from week-to-week (for example they are on an hourly rate), the sick pay is the average of their pay over the 13 weeks before they are on sick leave.

Sick pay is capped at a maximum of €110 a day.

If an employee is sick for more than 3 days

If an employee is off work sick for more than 3 days, and they have enough PRSI contributions, they can apply to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) for a payment called Illness Benefit.