Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

General Scheme of the Sick Leave Bill 2021: Discussion (Resumed)

Dr. Laura Bambrick:

Similarly to IBEC, Congress would have expected to see at least ten days in primary legislation because the way we are interpreting this is that the ten days will be the floor of this statutory right. We absolutely understand the need for it to be gradually introduced but we assumed that it was taken as a given that it would never go below ten days.

Similarly, but for different reasons from Ms McElwee, we do see the benefits of regulations. I mean that if changes are to be made, it would not require the Minister having to go through the hoopla of getting primary legislation changed. I guarantee that every budget submission from now on will include a request around statutory sick pay. We will be looking at how well the economy recovers. In the same way as Ms McElwee’s members will be seeking a slow-down of the scheme’s introduction, we will be seeking for it to be brought forward.

To echo Ms McElwee, there are benefits to using regulation but our concern is that the ten-day period is not mentioned in the primary legislation. That period is an absolute floor to this right.