Make Sick Pay Mandatory 

Ensur‌ing workers are well at work is a basic issue of safety and simply the right thing to do. When workers are unwell they need to rest to recover. When sick workers stay home they reduce the spread of infection and the risk of workplace accidents; they keep others safe.

Workers in Ireland have no entitlement to sick pay. Sick pay is at the discretion of the employer. Workers without paid sick leave have to work unwell or claim Illness Benefit.

Voluntary sick pay isn’t good enough. ICTU is calling on politicians in all political parties and none to guarantee workers a basic right other European workers have to 'Make Sick Pay Mandatory'. Read full statement HERE.


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To read the full ICTU document on this campaign click below.

Make Sick Pay Mandatory

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The Covid Crisis has exposed the deficiencies in Ireland’s sick pay system. 

SIPTU has highlighted the fact that the majority of workers in sectors such as private nursing homes, childcare and the meat industry are wholly reliant on an inadequate social welfare system. 

The Government has announced a public consultation on sick pay, involving trade unions and employer representatives, over the coming months. 

Two main principles will inform SIPTU’s approach to sick pay and illness benefit. First, all employees – regardless of what sector or company they work in – should have universal access to sick pay. Second, any new sick pay scheme should ensure comprehensive coverage of workers’ income – that is, workers should not lose income due to illness.

As we prepare our Union’s detailed response to the public consultation, we are anxious to hear from workers, both members and non-members, who have been impacted by the lack of sick pay. We especially want to hear from workers who were forced to go to work while ill because they could not afford to stay home to recover. 

Workers can email their story to or WhatsApp voice messages or video messages to our Sick Pay for All hotline on 087 719 5865.

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SIPTU Webinar: Healing our Sick Pay System

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The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the difficulties for many workers in obtaining sick pay. In response to the controversy that has arisen on this issue, the Government has indicated that it will commence a review into sick pay.

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