Government hypocrisy on sick pay nauseating

23 September 2020
  • Six-month delay is rubbish
  • They cannot claim to follow public health advice unless they support this bill

The Government hypocrisy on sick pay is nauseating according to Labour Leader Alan Kelly who was speaking on the Labour Party’s Sick Leave and Parental Leave (Covid-19) Bill 2020 in the Dáil.

Deputy Kelly said:

“Currently sick pay is at the discretion of the employer and that is not acceptable in 2020 during a pandemic. We obviously acknowledge that smaller and medium enterprises will need support particularly during the pandemic, that’s why we are introducing this legislation before the budget so they can get such supports.

“It’s our intention to make sure that employers who can afford to pay sick pay and refusing to pay sick pay, pay sick pay and that those who are small and medium enterprises would be supported by the Government to ensure that they can meet the requirements as set out in the bill. The six months delay is complete and utter rubbish, when there is an outbreak in a low paid employment, when we end up in a situation where a county goes into lockdown because of it. I will be going back, and I will be saying to you Minister, we had an opportunity, tell that to the county that is now in lockdown.

“The real issue for me is this, the mantra from Government which I support that we must follow public health advice is hypocritical. The Chief Executive Officer of the HSE, the Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE have said that this is necessary. In mid-August the Acting CMO said that the issue of sick pay needed to be dealt with, but it hasn’t been dealt with so that means the Government is not following public health advice. So when you go out and you say to the public, you all have to follow public health advice is it not hypocrisy that one of the issues that NPHET and the HSE said you needed to deal with, you have not followed.

 “This isn’t about politics, this is necessary, don’t kick this down the road for 6 months. If you kick this down the road for 6 months and for everyone in here who votes against it, you’re saying that parents can’t look after their children if there’s an outbreak in a school, you’re saying that people who work in low paid employment without sick pay are not entitled to it and what you’re all really saying is this, when you want to, you can follow public health advice and when you don’t want to, when it doesn’t suit your political needs you don’t have to and that is hypocrisy.

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