Government delay decision on sick pay for six months 

Government delay decision on sick pay for six months 

The bill would provide access to sick pay for everyone who has to take days off because of a case or suspected case of COVID

The government has decided to delay a decision on a bill on Covid sick pay for six months.

The Labour bill would provide access to sick pay for everyone who has to take days off because of a case or suspected case of COVID.

But the government wants to take six months to consider the implication that statutory sick pay would have for businesses.

In the Dáil this afternoon, Labour leader Alan Kelly says the decision is "frankly stupid".

"This is a Covid measure. Six months? I mean is this a laugh?"

Meanwhile, Labour's spokesperson on Employment Affairs  Senator Marie Sherlock described the lack of sick pay as a "fundamental weakness in our fight against the pandemic."

Ms Sherlock said that that the government has a special duty to people during the pandemic; "We are now six months on from the first case of Covid-19 in Ireland, and we understand half of private-sector workers still do not have a guaranteed right to be paid if they fall ill and have to self-isolate. If the Government insists we wait six months more to address the problem, it will seriously undermine the chance of safe and fair recovery."

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