By 2026, a small business with 25 employees will effectively have to budget for a cost that would be equal to employing another Full-Time employee. 25 X 10 = 250 days of potential sick pay inside in that Business. This is going to be an enormous financial burden for many small businesses, particularly when it is ramped up to the 10 days entitlement.
My worry would be that, that small business may have to consider decreasing their team to 24 to cover the cost of statutory sick pay, so you could end up with a redundancy.
Many businesses may have to look at finding for the cost of this somewhere else such as scrapping or cutting back on employee rewards, bonuses or benefits. Indeed, this is already happening in some larger organisations as a way of protection heading into the predicted slowdown or recession.
There may be a much more proactive way of dealing with sick days, they say prevention is better than cure!
There is an opportunity is the upcoming Work/Life balance bill to deal with Mental Health & Wellbeing. Many sick days are being caused by issues such as stress, anxiety, burnout etc. Many of these are work-Related in some way and particularly in current times because of the challenges workers faced during Covid.
There is an opportunity in the Work/Life balance bill to include a focus on Mental Health & Wellbeing policies and practices to be mandatory in every workplace. There needs to be more focus on this and it is not being pushed or emphasized enough.
Many of the employment relations grievances or disputes inside in Irish workplaces are being caused because – workers are tired, stressed and burnt out.
There needs to be better education of Mental Health & Wellbeing in Irish workplaces and if there was, we would probably see much lower absenteeism rates as a result.