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Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Louise O'Reilly: I have tabled a similar amendment regarding what should be considered. Of course, it is open to the Minister to consider a rake of things that may not be in the legislation, but we want to include "the state of society generally, the public interest and employee well-being” in what should be considered. On the inclusion of "employee" well-being, it is not a word I like. I prefer the...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Leo Varadkar: Amendments Nos. 11, 13 and 14 would disrupt the balance in the Bill that protects the rights and obligations of both employers and employees. This is a progressive Bill and will ensure that all employees will have financial protection from day one of a medically certified absence. However, the Government does not want to jeopardise jobs by placing an unsustainable cost and administrative...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Catherine Connolly: Amendments Nos. 4 to 7, inclusive, are related. Amendments Nos. 5 and 6 are physical alternatives to amendment No. 4. All the amendments will be discussed together.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: I move amendment No. 4: In page 5, to delete lines 30 to 35. This amendment proposes to delete the requirement for an employee to have 13 weeks of continuous employment before being entitled to sick pay. This was one of the most problematic aspects of the Bill, as drafted. There is a Government amendment in this regard, which I will come to presently.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: On a point of order, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Deputy Paul Murphy is making a very important point but I cannot hear him.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Catherine Connolly: We will get silence. Níl an Teachta in ann aon rud a chloisteáil.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: I thank Deputy Ó Ríordáin and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. The issue here is that a very gross discrimination was created by the Government's proposal, whereby an employee whose service was interrupted would go back to zero, lose his or her rights to sick pay and have to work up the 13 weeks again. This meant that the Bill, as drafted, excluded many of the most vulnerable...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Louise O'Reilly: My amendment No. 5 is similar to amendment No. 4. I appreciate that the Government's amendment No. 7 is an effort to address our concerns on this issue, which the Tánaiste indicated previously that he would consider. What he has proposed is an advance and it certainly is welcome. It captures the situation of childcare workers, who adhere to a fixed pattern of work that includes a...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Leo Varadkar: On Committee Stage, the Minister of State, Deputy English, signalled our intention to move an amendment on Report Stage to address the issues raised by the Deputies. The purpose of the amendment is to eliminate uncertainty as to the entitlement of certain workers to sick leave. Section 5 is linked to the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973. This means that an employee will not...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Amendment put: The Dáil divided: Tá, 56; Níl, 78; Staon, 0. Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Duncan Smith; Níl, Deputies Jack Chambers and Brendan Griffin.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Tá Chris Andrews, Ivana Bacik, Mick Barry, Martin Browne, Pat Buckley, Holly Cairns, Matt Carthy, Sorca Clarke, Joan Collins, Michael Collins, Rose Conway-Walsh, Réada Cronin, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, Pa Daly, Pearse Doherty, Paul Donnelly, Dessie Ellis, Mairead Farrell, Kathleen Funchion, Gary Gannon, Thomas Gould, Johnny Guirke, Marian Harkin, Danny Healy-Rae, Michael...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Amendment declared lost.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Leo Varadkar: The argument I am making, which I often make, is one in favour of incremental progress. I appreciate that for many people progress is too slow, but I have a responsibility as Minister to listen to all sides of the argument and to look at it from the point of view of employers as well as that of employees. In my view, the most important workers' right is the right to work, and I want to...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Amendment put and declared lost.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I move amendment No. 3: In page 5, to delete lines 23 to 25 and substitute the following: “(2) An employee shall be entitled to up to and including 10 statutory sick leave days in a year, or such additional number of statutory sick leave days (if any) up to 30, as may stand specified from time to time by order of the Minister under section 6.”.

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: The Tánaiste's arguments in favour of sick pay and why it is good are all arguments for allowing workers to have sick pay for the days they are sick. That is the bottom line. They are also arguments in favour of amendment No. 18 which proposes to decrease the limits on the actual number of days. If we were lucky enough to have a left Government - hopefully one with an eco-socialist...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: I will repeat what we said on Committee Stage. Whenever an improvement to the lot of the worker is proposed, the Government always seems to speak of Armageddon and about how difficult it will be for employers and how businesses will fold, etc. Whenever we propose issues such as a basic rate of pay, a living wage or anything in this area we are always told it will place an unreasonable...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Matt Shanahan: Like many others, the Tánaiste included, I welcome the introduction of a statutory sick pay scheme. As I stated in committee, however, there is an issue of discernment here in terms of the scale and size of the employers. What some of the amendments are speaking to, in seeking ten days of immediate sick leave, is wholly inappropriate for microenterprises. That needs to be said first...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

Louise O'Reilly: I think we are in danger of losing our way on this a little. Sick pay is a very important instrument of public health. For employers who may struggle to pay even the modest amount of sick leave provided for in the Bill, which will increase further as time goes on, there is a benefit to them that I do not believe we are considering. When a sick person comes into the workplace and makes...

Sick Leave Bill 2022: Report and Final Stages (18 May 2022)

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