Friday 23 February 2018

Minister Burton's sick pay move is double whammy for employers

Forcing businesses to pay the first four weeks of sick pay will be devastating for small enterprises and job creation, says Celia Larkin

OF all the back-handed, political self-preservationist, populist ways of pruning the social welfare budget, this is one that a small business owner couldn't have dreamed up in their worst nightmare. It's like waiting until a drowning man breaks the surface and then putting a heavy weight on his head. It's ill-timed, ill-thought-out and dangerous.

Political life is about serving your country, not preserving your popularity and political career. Joan Burton is trying to mind her own political skin and at the same time trim €150m off the social welfare budget by transferring the first four weeks of sickness payment for employees from her department directly to employers.

It's nothing but a short-sighted political stroke. Great idea, minister. Here we go again. When an employee isn't given sick pay, the minister can blame someone else. It's a bit of a mantra for this Government: "Wasn't me, didn't do it."

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