Employment LawGeneral News

Seven out of 10 retailers say paid sick day laws have driven up absenteeism

By January 29, 2024 No Comments
paid sick day laws

A big survey on paid sick day laws by Retail Excellence Ireland found that ever since the government made it a rule for shops to pay their workers when they’re off sick, a lot more workers are calling in sick. About 70% of the shops said they’ve seen more sick days being taken. Some of these shops think that workers are treating these paid sick days like extra vacation time.

This survey looked at 128 different shop companies, which altogether have about 3,000 shops. From the start of 2023, shops had to start paying workers for the first three days they’re off sick because of the new Sick Leave Act 2022. Before this, workers didn’t get paid for the first three sick days and had to ask for money from the government starting on the fourth day. Now, shops also have to pay for five sick days starting this month, and the plan is to make this go up to 10 days by 2026. Workers get paid 70% of what they usually earn for these sick days, but there’s a limit of €110 per day. If a shop doesn’t follow these rules, workers can complain to the Workplace Relations Commission.

There was a big case last year where a worker from SuperValu complained because she was only paid for one sick day when she was off for four days. But the Workplace Relations Commission said it was okay because SuperValu already had a sick pay policy that gave workers 40 paid sick days over a year, even though the first three days weren’t paid.

The survey also found that nearly half the shops are struggling with the costs of paying for sick days and the recent increase in minimum wage. Because of this, more than a third are thinking about raising their prices, and half are thinking about cutting their opening hours.

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