SIPTU representatives have said they will look to build on the proposals contained in the Sick Leave Bill 2021 which was announced by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, today (Wednesday, 9th June). SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Greg Ennis, said: “We are giving a guarded welcome to the proposed Sick Leave Bill 2021. Under its proposals, all employees will be entitled to three days per annum statutory occupational sick pay from 2022, rising to 10 days in 2025. “While we are disappointed by some of the terms of this occupational sick pay scheme, including the limit on the number of days to be granted and the phasing proposed, it does deliver on one of the key issues identified by SIPTU and Congress as part of our submissions to the Special Oireachtas Committee on Covid-19 Response.” He added: “It’s never too late to do the right thing and providing sick pay to all workers is something that is essential both for those directly involved and public health. This new payment, which will effectively fill the gap in coverage caused by Illness Benefit waiting days, is a positive move. However, the new scheme is something that SIPTU representatives will look to build upon on behalf of our thousands of members, many in the low paid food processing sector, who have been left without adequate sick pay provision for far too long.” Under the proposed new legalisation, employers will have to make the sick day payments at 70% of an employee’s wage.