Employers must pay their staff sick pay from today.
The Oireachtas passed the Sick Leave Act in spring last year and it means, for the first time, that those who fall ill are entitled to three sick leave days.
Previously, many employers paid their employees anyway but now there is a legal requirement to pay them 70% of their wage, capped at a maximum of €110, for three days.
Furthermore, an employee must have been at the company for at least 13 weeks and provide a sick note as well.
“Many sick pay schemes in Ireland [previously] had waiting days - so you didn’t get sick pay until maybe the third, fourth or fifth day of absence,” Managing Director of The HR Suite, Caroline Reidy, explained to Newstalk.
“Effective now from 1st January, people will have an automatic entitlement from the first day of absence.”
Following the successful passage of the bill through the Oireachtas in July, then-Minister for Business Leo Varadkar said:
"No worker should feel pressurised to come into work when they are unwell.
“It’s not good for their own health obviously, but it’s also bad for their colleagues, any customers they deal with and their employer.
“From later this year, all workers will have the safety net of knowing they will not lose out on payment if they are unwell and can’t come into work.”
Today also sees the minimum wage increase from €10.50 to €11.30 an hour; for an individual working a 35 hour week, their pay will go up by €28 a week or €1,456 a year.
Main image: Woman blowing her nose into paper handkerchief on the bus on a cold winter day. Image: Igor Stevanovic / Alamy