New sick leave terms

Workers on long-term sick leave will still be able to accrue holiday entitlement under new labour laws coming into force today.

Business Minister Ged Nash said the reforms were intended to balance the needs of employees without placing unnecessary pressure on the finances of small firms.

The Industrial Relations Bill also covers collective bargaining, registered employment agreements (REAs), and employment orders.

REAs will be in play once again under the laws after playing a major role in resolving disputes at Aer Lingus and Dublin Bus recently.

“We are striking the right balance between protecting the rights of vulnerable workers who are ill and trying to minimise the cost to business,” Mr Nash said.

Workers out sick will be able to carry over accrued annual leave for a period of 15 months after the leave year in question, under the changes.

Mr Nash insisted the changes would be good for the economy generally. “The change to the legislation will bring clarity in Irish law as to how annual leave can be accrued and carried over when an employee cannot take their paid annual leave due to illness,” he said.

“We are striking the right balance between protecting the rights of vulnerable workers who are ill and trying to minimise the cost to business and the exchequer, as well as implementing the requirements of the EU Directive on Working Time.”

“I believe that the changes are fair and supportive to workers while also giving clarity to employers about their obligations to their employees.”


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