Budget 2021 has several implications for employers and in this article, we take you through the following:
- Parent’s Benefit increases to 5 weeks for parents of children born or adopted from November 2019 –an increase of 3 weeks
- The number of ‘waiting days’ for Illness Benefit will reduce from 6 days to 3 days for all new claims from the end of February 2021
- The planned increase in pension age to 67 was postponed
This leave is granted to both parents to allow them time off around the birth or adoption of their child or the child of their spouse or partner. The Parent's Benefit is paid for by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and there is no legal obligation for employers to provide a top up payment. The leave must be taken within 52 weeks of the birth/adoption of the child. However, from April 2021 the entitlement will increase from 2 weeks to 5 weeks and employees will have up to 104 weeks to take this leave. Eligible employees can avail of their 2 weeks until April 2021, where they can then claim their remaining 3 weeks entitlement. Considering this, businesses should prepare for and expect more requests from parents seeking time off for childcare commitments next year.
Currently, under Irish employment law, an employer has no obligation to pay staff who are on sick leave. Generally, if a company does not provide sick pay, an employee can avail of the Illness Benefit from the 7th day of absence. As part of this year’s Budget, employees will, from February 2021 be able to avail of illness benefit from the 4th day of absence. Essentially, the number of waiting days will reduce from 6 to 3 on new claims.
The state pension age will remain at 66 as announced in this year’s Budget, despite originally planning to increase the qualifying age to 67 next year and 68 in 2028. A Commission on Pensions has been set up to review future changes to the pension age and is due to report by June of next year.
View here to see the SFA's response to Budget 2021. If you have any questions on the above, please contact Emma Crowley, SFA HR Executive.