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Sick Pay Law & Legislation

We are often approached by clients seeking advice on accident at work sick pay entitlement. The information below sets out the background on current law and legislation in Ireland.

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Helpful Information

The following information explains your sick pay entitlement under the existing laws in Ireland.

Is my employer obliged to pay me while I am out due to an injury sustained at work?

Until recently, employers were not required by Irish law to provide occupational sick pay schemes for their staff. However, this all changed with  the introduction of the Sick Leave Act 2022, which came into effect on the 1st January 2023. Since this date, all employees who have been employed for 13 weeks or longer are entitled to 3 days statutory sick pay a year. This increases to 5 days from January 2024, 7 days from January 2025, and 10 days from January 2026.

There may also be a provision in your contract of employment stating that you’re entitled to be paid in full during any absence from employment that arises due to illness or injury. Likewise, if there are any registered employment agreements (REAs), employment regulation orders (EROs), collective agreements, union-negotiated standard terms of employment, or long-established customary practices in your workplace that confer rights over and above the bare minimum statutory entitlements, you could be able to call upon your employer to pay some or all of your wages while you’re off work recovering from your injuries. For this reason, you should always consult a solicitor if your employer refuses to pay your wages while you’re out of work recovering from your accident.

What’s more, an employer cannot claim that any time off work due to injury has eaten into your entitlement to paid holiday leave as section 19 (2) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides that any day where a person is certified as unfit for work cannot be regarded as a day of annual leave.

If you can’t work due to an injury you’ve suffered at work, you have used all your statutory sick days, and your employer has no obligation to pay you during your absence you may also be entitled to a range of social welfare payments including disability benefit, invalidity pension, occupational injury benefit and disablement benefit. Further information on sick pay entitlement can be found on our blog here.

If your employer isn’t obliged by law to pay your full wages while you’re out of work recovering from your injuries but does so anyway, while this would, of course, be very welcome, don’t assume that it amounts to an admission of guilt by your employer. They can make ex gratia payments of this nature without accepting liability to compensate you for your injuries. Accordingly, if you believe that you are entitled to damages for the pain and suffering which you’ve endured you should contact a solicitor specialising in work-related personal injury claims without delay to avoid your case being prejudiced for any reason.

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Recovery of loss of earnings

Even where your employer has no contractual or other obligation to pay your wages while you’re out of work due to your injuries (with the result that your income during that period is confined to whatever social welfare payments you qualify for), you may still be able to bring a claim against them. If you are successful in your claim, not only will you be entitled to damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering but you will also be entitled to recover your loss of earnings. This will be the difference between the total amount of the after-tax earnings that you would have been paid had you not been off work due to your injuries less whatever social welfare payments you actually received in that period.

Accident at work sick pay entitlement advice

If you have any questions relating to sick pay entitlement following an accident in the workplace, our live chat operator is available to help you with any queries you may have at any time or, you can just give us a call on our nationwide Local number 1800 390 555 during office hours. Our accident at work solicitors are based at our offices in Dublin and Cork, however, we assist people across the country from Limerick to Galway.

If you would prefer, we can call you, just leave a short message on our callback form on this page, together with your phone number, and we’ll call you back at a time that is convenient for you.

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About McCarthy + Co

With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims, McCarthy + Co. has experience bringing claims relating to a wide variety of workplace scenarios. We are a family-run business, and we pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial, and helpful advice.

Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork but we work with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance, and assistance on any form of personal injury.

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We are a multi-award winning firm, accredited by the Law Society of Ireland.

Irish Law Awards 2022 - Winner of Excellence & Innovation in Client Services
Irish Law Awards 2022 - Excellence & Innovation in Client Services
Irish Law Awards 2021 - Litigation Law Firm of the Year (Munster)
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Our Partners

Directly contact our partners via email about your case.

Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

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Twitter: @flormccarthy LinkedIn: /in/flormccarthy/

wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

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LinkedIn: /in/johnmccarthysolicitor/

is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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