The Labour Court has approved proposals to half the sick pay entitlement for the 300,000 public servants in the country. The current sick leave package for Irish public servants is full pay for the first six months of illness and half pay for the next six-month period. Also reduced was the number of days an employee can take off sick with a doctor’s certification which will be down to seven days every 12 months to seven days per 24 months.
The Irish Government has made these changes in a bid to make a saving of €25 million this year. Currently the state pays €488 million for certified sick absence and a further €63 million for uncertified illness among civil servants on a yearly basis.
Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, said that the new restrictions would also improve productivity. “The reformed arrangements will result in increased productivity, reductions in absenteeism and a significant reduction in the cost of sick leave in the public service,” he explained.
The reduction in long term sick pay will not be implemented until January 2014 with the court confirming that those suffering from critical illness such as heart attack will receive six months full pay then six months half pay.