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June 20, 2012

North Kildare Chamber: Sick Pay Proposals Must Not Go Ahead

North Kildare Chamber  has today (20/06/12) called on the Government not to implement proposals from the Department of Social Protection to transfer sick pay costs for the first 2-4 weeks to employers.

Eilish-Quinlan Speaking this morning, Eilis Quinlan, North Kildare Chamber President said, “Many Businesses are already struggling to stay afloat and placing this additional financial burden on them could be the final nail in the coffin for some and the jobs they provide. The Department of Social Protection has justified its proposal by saying that it would simply bring Ireland in line with other jurisdictions. However, it would be myopic for a whole of Government decision on this matter not to take account of the many costs that businesses in Ireland already suffer which are not imposed on businesses elsewhere.”

“These costs include;

  1. Ireland has the second highest minimum wage in the EU.
  2. Due to the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, Ireland is one of few European countries where additional Sunday premium payments are mandatory. No such premium exists in major competitors such as the UK, Germany and France.
  3. Budget 2012 introduced a 2% increase in Ireland’s VAT rate, giving it the joint 6th highest in the EU. This has had a considerable impact on the competitiveness of Irish SMEs.  The Consumer Sentiment Index, produced by the ESRI and the KBC bank, shows considerable declines in consumer confidence in the wake of the VAT rise.”
  4. Businesses in Ireland still have to deal with an array of different pieces of legislation and regulatory bodies. These include: The Labour Court; the Labour Relations Commission; Joint Labour Committees; the Organisation of Working Time Act; and the National Employment Rights Authority.”
    “The idea that the Government wants to add to these costs rather than focus on supporting the development and growth of Irish business is absurd. The Department of Social Protection should focus on saving costs elsewhere rather than simply passing additional burdens on to the job creating, tax generating section of the economy.  Our direct tax on payroll – known as employers PRSI – adds an immediate 10.75% to payroll costs, and to add an additional burden onto employers who are already struggling, will simply create more redundancies which are not necessary” Quinlan concluded.