Sick Leave

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-23


An employee has no legal entitlement to sick pay; it is at the discretion of the employer. If an employee is sick during the period of annual leave and can prove to employer through a medical certificate that he or she was sick or injured, then the leave taken during this period will not count as annual leave. Since there is no provision in law on sick leave and sick pay, it is at the discretion of employer to devise his own policy on the matter. Employer is required to provide information to the worker on the terms and conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury. If a worker has no entitlement to sick leave and sick in his employment particulars, he/she may apply for illness benefit if he/she has required social insurance contributions.
If a worker is getting sick pay from employer, he is required to sign over any illness benefit to the employer as long he is getting sick pay from work. Worker has to apply for illness benefit within 7 days of becoming ill. No payment is made for the first 6 days of illness (from 06 January 2014). The sickness/illness benefit is paid for a maximum of 02 years (624 payment days) when a worker has 260 weeks of PRSI contributions paid. If a worker has between 104 to 259 weeks of PRSI contributions paid, he/she can claim the benefit for up to 52 weeks (312 payment days). The weekly benefit depends on the weekly earnings of a worker. The lowest personal rate is 84.50 euros per week for those earning less than 150 euros per week. The highest personal rate is 188 euros per week for those earning 300 euros or more per week.


Medical Care

In Ireland any person, regardless of nationality, who is accepted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) as being ordinarily resident in Ireland is entitled to either full eligibility (Category 1, i.e. medical card holders) or limited eligibility (Category 2) for health services. Category 1 consists of people who, in the opinion of the HSE, are unable to afford general practitioner services for themselves and their dependents. The medical services available category 01 include general practitioner services, specialist services in out-patient clinics, certain dental, ophthalmic and aural services and appliances, prescribed drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances, maternity care and infant welfare services, maternity cash grant for each newborn child and attendance. The medical services available to Category 02 include all in-patient hospital services in public wards, specialist services in outpatient clinics, maternity care and infant welfare services, including the services of a family doctor during pregnancy and family doctor services for mother and infant up to six weeks after the birth, a refund of expenditure on drugs and medicines above a specified limit, drugs and medicines for the treatment of certain specified illnesses under the Long-Term Illness Scheme.


Job Security

There is no legislation governing sick leave in Ireland. No job security provisions are found in Unfair Dismissals Act. Any terms or conditions relating to incapacity for work due to illness or injury is required to be included in employment contract. The employment contract shall also place a limit on sick leave or sick pay (one month in a 12 month period). Clear rules governing sick leave and sick pay have to be incorporated in the employment contract. An employee who is ill is entitled not to attend work however they may be required by their employer to provide a medical certificate verifying the same. Long absences from work due to sickness may be a ground for dismissal.


Regulations on Sick Leave

  • Unfair Dismissals Act 1977, Last amended 2007

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