Statutory sick pay proposals need more scrutiny, says Mulherin

Mayo Deputy Michelle Mulherin has called on the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton to conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment on her proposals to place the financial burden of sick pay on employers for the first four weeks of illness.

Deputy Mulherin stated: “While this cost is currently covered by the State and the Minister has to find savings in her budget and tackle absenteeism in the work place, the potential adverse impact on the sustainability of businesses which are trying to stay afloat and on jobs has to be teased out. I have met with many local businesses in Mayo and understand their concerns about current proposals in the context of increases in energy, transport, and local charges which they are already contending with.”

Deputy Mulherin added: “In fact approximately 230,000 small businesses around the country employ over 900,000 individuals so it is very important that such businesses are not placed in an untenable position and that we don’t undermine Government initiatives which have been undertaken for sustaining and creating jobs as the major objective in our economic recovery. Also the impact on multi-national companies setting up here and foreign direct investment has to be given serious consideration. Adding to the cost of staff can be a disincentive.”

Deputy Mulherin concluded that she has spoken with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton “who assures me that he is committed to ensuring that small businesses are supported by Government and that he is continuing to consult and to monitor the issue.”


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