The two pieces of legislation which will be discussed in this article are:
- The Sick Leave Act 2022; and
- The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022.
Sick Leave Act 2022
This Act will need to be adhered to by all employers in Ireland from the date it becomes effective.
The commencement of this Act will indeed affect employers who do not currently operate any sick pay scheme at all and those who only offer sick pay benefits to employees after they pass their probation period, for example. This is an important practical consideration.
In order to assist employers, Fieldfisher has issued several guidance articles in relation to this Act which may be helpful and which you may find here:
Guidance note 1 - click here
Guidance note 2 - click here
Guidance note 3 - click here
Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022
It is of note that in respect of the new rules relating to Internal Reporting Channels (discussed below), upon commencement of the 2022 Act, only employers with 250 or more employees and all public bodies will be required to establish same. Employers with 50 to 249 employees will benefit from a transitional period which does not require such channels to be established until 17 December 2023.
In order to assist employers, Fieldfisher has posted several guidance videos in relation to the new Act which may be helpful and which you may find here:
New obligations under the 2022 Act
Extent employer must consult with the whistleblower on the outcome of the disclosure
New confidentiality requirements
Who is covered under the new Act?
What is considered by "penalisation"?
Can an ordinary employee grievance also be a protected disclosure?
Burden of proof now shifted to employers
Legal remedies available to employees
Employers who are affected by the commencement of these Acts in 2023 are urged to swiftly become familiar with the main provisions and requirements of the Acts (if not already done so!).
Employers are also advised to amend and introduce necessary internal policies and procedures into their employee handbooks for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the Acts.
Please note that our Employment Department at Fieldfisher would be happy to assist employers in this regard.
Written by: Barry Walsh and Greta Siskauskaite
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