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Leo Varadkar warned of ‘impossible’ timeline for introduction of statutory sick pay regime

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In a letter to the Tánaiste last week, Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) once again raised concerns about a new scheme for sick pay which is due to come into effect on January 1. Picture by Gerry Mooney

In a letter to the Tánaiste last week, Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) once again raised concerns about a new scheme for sick pay which is due to come into effect on January 1. Picture by Gerry Mooney

In a letter to the Tánaiste last week, Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) once again raised concerns about a new scheme for sick pay which is due to come into effect on January 1. Picture by Gerry Mooney

Employers are being given ‘an impossible window’ of time to introduce statutory sick pay, tax professionals have told Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar.

In a letter last week, Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) raised concerns about a new scheme for sick pay which is due to come into effect on January 1.

Last week, the Government published the Sick Leave Bill 2021 but accountants say firms don’t yet have enough detail. This followed the commitment made in June to introduce legislation which will give employees a right to sick pay from January 1, 2022.

Cróna Clohisey, public policy lead with CAI said: “With just seven weeks to go until the proposed introduction of the scheme, employers, software developers and payroll service operators are being provided with an impossible window in which to analyse the Bill (which is yet to be signed into  law) and implement its requirements.”

“Providers of payroll services tell us that a lead-in time of at least six months from the date of clear and tested guidance being made available would be required to develop and adapt software to include statutory sick pay.

“The Bill published last week does not give the level of detail required to effectively introduce such a scheme.”

The statutory scheme will be phased in over four years starting with three days per year in 2022, rising to five days payable in 2023 and seven days payable in 2024. Eventually employers will cover the cost of 10 sick days per year.

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