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Understanding Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

In Ireland, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is a legal right that entitles employees to be paid while they are on sick leave from work. This right was introduced in January 2023 and has been in place since then.

Statutory Sick Pay Ireland

It provides financial security to employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury.

SSP is paid by employers and is subject to certain conditions such as the employee having worked at least 13 weeks with your employer before you can get statutory 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 consecutively or non-consecutively. The sick pay year runs from January 1 to December 31. You can receive 70% of your normal weekly pay, up to a maximum of €110 per day.

What is normal daily pay?

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 or allowance), your sick pay is the average of your pay over the 13 weeks before you are on sick leave.

Some points to note are as follows:

  • Sick pay is capped at a maximum of €110 a day.
  • This legislation does not apply to employers who operate a sick pay scheme, which, as a whole, is more favourable than the statutory scheme. SSP is intended to be a minimum entitlement.
  • Employees will have an entitlement to 3 days SSP from any one employer during 2023. If an employee has 2 (or more) employments with different employers, they will be entitled to 3 days SSP from each employer.
  • Where an employee is absent on sick leave for more than 3 consecutive days in 2023, they will be entitled to claim Illness Benefit from the Department of Social Protection, assuming they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • It is intended that the SSP entitlement will rise to up to 10 days sick leave per year by 2026.
  • While employees should be encouraged to submit a medical certificate as soon as possible, they would still be entitled to SSP for any day covered by the medical certificate, even where the certificate is submitted several weeks later.
  • Records must be retained for a period of 4 years to include the employee’s period of employment, dates of statutory sick leave, and the rate of SSP paid to the employee.
  • Employers should consider amending their contracts of employment to cater for SSP, especially in situations where the employer does not currently pay sick pay or where the employer’s sick pay scheme is not as favourable as SSP.

For full details, please read the Sick leave and sick pay section on Citizen’s Information site.