Sick Pay for All

Unlike most other European countries, in Ireland workers have no legal right to sick pay. Labour want to change this and make it a legal obligation for employers to pay their workers when they are sick.

If the Covid-19 crisis taught us anything, it’s that we need to value each and every worker in our country. Currently, there is no legal right to paid sick leave in Ireland.

Across the EU, 22 countries already have a statutory right to sick pay, as does the UK. Ireland is one of only five EU members that doesn’t recognise this essential right. We need to support workers to stay at home when they feel sick

Private sector workers are entirely dependent on the benevolence of their employer to pay them when they are ill; and only a minority currently choose to do so. Those worst affected tend to be on lower income and in certain essential sectors. For instance, SIPTU’s Big Start survey has identified that just 16% of childcare workers have paid sick leave.

Ireland has one of the highest rates of low pay in the OECD, second only to the United States. If these workers fall ill, they should never have to choose between their health or their income. The Labour Party wants everyone to have a right to paid sick leave. 


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