Written answers

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Employment Rights

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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85. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the status of legislation to introduce a statutory sick pay scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30200/21]

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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200. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he envisages introducing a mandatory sick pay scheme before the end of the Covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30269/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 200 together.

The Government is committed to introducing a statutory sick pay scheme and work is well underway in this regard.

Following a public consultation, regular consultation with the social partners, discussions with an interdepartmental group on sick pay and an international review of best practice, draft Heads of Bill are currently being circulated across Government departments for observations.

I intend to bring a Memo to Government very shortly seeking agreement to draft the general scheme of a Bill and it is my intention that it will be in place by the end of the year.

By bringing forward this legislation we will be adding to the range of reforms in recent years to improve social protections for workers including the introduction of paternity benefit, parental leave benefit, enhanced maternity benefit, a national minimum wage set at a higher rate than most of our peers, and restrictions on zero-hour contracts. Other recent reforms include the extension of social insurance benefits to the self-employed and those working in the gig economy for the first time, such as treatment benefit, invalidity pension, jobseeker's benefit and a contributory state pension with no means test.

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