Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Introduction of Statutory Sick Pay: Discussion

Photo of David StantonDavid Stanton (Cork East, Fine Gael)
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We certainly do not want people to feel that they have to go to work when they are sick for all kinds of reasons such as lack of pay, loyalty to the company or whatever else. The other side of that coin is that we do not want people abusing the system by taking so-called sick days either. There are two sides of the coin and it needs to be balanced.

I am struck by how some of the large companies deal with this. Diageo, for example, offers 26 weeks' paid maternity and paternity leave to its employees. Other large companies offer significant perks. This idea of looking after one's employees is important. Many employers are beginning to realise that to retain talent, they have to look after employees very well. Then we come down to the issue of the smaller employers.

How would an insurance scheme work? What does the ICTU think of an insurance scheme that would be paid into by the State, employers and employees in the case where sick benefit or sick leave cannot be paid?