The coming 12 months will see many changes across the HR and Employment Law landscape in Ireland. Below, we have listed some of the main changes that are coming into effect in 2024:
- National Minimum Wage Increase
The minimum wage increased for workers over the age of 20 from €11.30 to €12.70 from January 1st, 2024.
Employers should make sure to update their payroll system with the new rates this January and communicate the change to employees who are affected.
- Statutory Sick Leave (SSP):
Revised Statutory Sick Leave benefits are effective January 1, 2024. Employees are now granted 5 days of paid sick leave (up from 3 days in 2023), with this allocation set to expand to 7 days starting January 1st, 2025.
Employees utilising certified sick leave will receive 70% of their regular daily earnings, capped at a maximum of €110 per day.
Eligibility and Conditions
To qualify for Statutory Sick Leave, employees must have completed 13 consecutive weeks of service with their employer. Additionally, they must produce a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner, which states their incapacity for work due to illness or injury. The leave can be taken on consecutive or non-consecutive days.
Any unused sick leave will expire at the end of each calendar year.
Exemptions to Statutory Sick Leave
While Statutory Sick Leave is a crucial benefit, certain situations exempt employees from its applicability. These include employers offering a sick leave scheme that provides enhanced benefits that are more favourable for the employee.
Are Part-Time Employees and an employee who has Multiple Employers entitled to SSP?
Part-time employees are entitled to the same benefits as their full-time counterparts. If an employee has multiple employers, they are entitled to statutory sick leave benefits from each employer, provided they meet the 13-week service requirement.
- Stricter Record-Keeping Practices
Employers must now adhere to stricter record-keeping practices, maintaining detailed records of statutory sick leave taken by their employees. This includes:
- Duration of employment for each employee utilising statutory sick leave.
- Dates and times of statutory sick leave for each employee.
- Rate of statutory sick leave payment for each employee.
These records must be preserved for four years. Employers failing to uphold accurate records may face conviction and fined up to €2,500.
- Improvements to Parents’ Leave and Benefits
From August 2024, parents’ leave will be extended by two weeks – from seven to nine weeks. This leave is specifically for parents whose child or children are in the first two years of their life.
Employees are required to give six months’ notice before the intended start date of Parents’ Leave. Should their leave fall across public holidays, employees are entitled to take these as holidays.
If any employer has queries regarding these changes in Irish employment law, they can contact us via our website – www.ghrconsulting.ie