A new statutory sick pay scheme comes into effect from 2022 - but one employment law expert says some aspects of it "haven't been thought out terribly well".
While many employees currently have no legal right to paid sick leave, that's changing from January.
Next year, employees will be entitled to three days of sick leave - rising to five days in 2023, seven days in 2024 and finally 10 days in 2025.
Employers will have to pay 70% of the employee's normal wages, up to a maximum of €110 per day.
The new rules will apply to people who've been employed for at least six months, and staff will need a GP cert to show they're unfit to work.
Richard Grogan, an employment law expert and solicitor at Richard Grogan & Associates, spoke to The Pat Kenny Show about the new rules.
He explained: “Effectively, they say it’s going to be €110 per day or 70% of your normal day rate - payable for three days in 2022.
“The difficulty is that only covers somebody who is on up to [€40,889] a year - over that, you’re not going to get the full 70%.
“The other difficulty is you’re going to have to produce a medical certificate… if you’re out for a day, it’s going to cost you €55 for the doctor’s certificate.
“This hasn’t really been thought out terribly well."
Richard noted one other concern about the new scheme is that there's a "gap in the advice" when it comes to COVID-19 testing and self-isolation.
This means some low-paid workers in particular may find themselves in a tricky situation if they are feeling unwell.
Richard explained: “If you're on €400-450 and trying to pay the rent and put the food on the table... if you feel ill, the problem is this sick pay scheme doesn't kick in if you're saying 'I'm going off to get a test'.
"If you test positive, it does kick in... but [if you test negative], you were applying personal responsibility but you weren't covered under the sick pay scheme.
"This puts pressure on someone who has a sniffle, cold or a bit of a headache."
He said this situation has led to concerns some people will go into work sick - but noted some employers will be putting in their own sick pay scheme to avoid that happening.