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Are You Ready for Sick Leave Changes?

From 24 July 2021 employee sick leave entitlement will increase from five days to 10 days. The three questions we have been getting asked are: does this change for all my team members on 24 July? Do I need to do anything? And is the ‘cap’ of 20 days changing?

Let’s tackle the first one first…the short answer is no, not all team members’ entitlements change on 24 July – this happens when they reach their next entitlement date after the 24th of July – either after reaching six months’ employment or on their sick leave entitlement anniversary (12 months after they were last entitled to sick leave).  

Here are a couple of scenarios:

  • Mike has been working for the same company for a number of years, his start date was 24 March.  His sick leave entitlement date is six months from then, on 24 September, and his entitlement roles over every year on 24 September.  On 24 September 2021, his sick leave entitlement will increase from five days to 10 days.
  • Annmarie started a new role on Monday 18 January 2021; her six-month entitlement date is 18 July 2021, so on that day her five-day sick leave entitlement kicks in. This is before the legislation change date of 24 July 2021 so her entitlement does not increase from five to 10 days until the anniversary of her entitlement, ie 18 July 2022.


And to the second question – do you need to do anything?  We would suggest a quick check in with your payroll provider to ensure that their system is set up and ready for the change, and that it will automatically take care of leave entitlements for you.  The other thing we recommend you do is to check on each of your team members’ entitlement anniversary dates, and have individual conversations with them – particularly for any ‘Annmarie’ on your team, whose entitlement anniversary date is just prior to the 24 July cut-off – they need to be made aware that their entitlement does not change.

Finally, to the cap – no, this isn’t lifting from the current cap of 20 days. The maximum amount of unused sick leave that an employee can be entitled to will remain at 20 days.

If you’re not sure of how this impacts on you, or have any questions, give our team a call on 07 870 4901 – we’re happy to help!