Whether you’re an employer, an employee, or a candidate looking for your next opportunity in the flourishing Irish tech industry, there are changes on the horizon that you need to be aware of. 2024 brings with it some interesting trends and new employee protections that could have a major impact on both the hiring process and employee retention.
These changes are worth bearing in mind if you are a candidate actively seeking a new role. Although it’s important to note that they are mandatory entitlements and not benefits.
Here’s a rundown of the changes, some of which are already in effect.
Increased Sick Pay Entitlements
In effect from – January 1st 2024
Paid sick leave entitlement has now increased from three days to five days per year. According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the new entitlement is available for all employees who are either part-time or full-time. The entitlement is per employer which means that if you have two jobs, then you are entitled to five sick days per job per year.
Sick pay should be paid at 70% of gross earnings.
The government plans to increase this entitlement to 10 days by 2026.
Parents’ Leave and Benefits Increased
In effect from – August 2024
Parental leave will be extended by two weeks in August of 2024.This means that parents whose children are in the first two years of their lives will now be entitled to nine weeks of parental leave. Those wishing to take advantage of this entitlement must give six months’ notice before the intended start date of leave.
Parents who take this time off are entitled to benefits of €262 a week which is paid by the Department of Social Protection. This is available to parents who have made sufficient PRSI contributions. It’s at the discretion of the employer whether or not they wish to complement this payment. Any additional payment made by the employer will not affect the benefits a parent is entitled to.
You Now Have the Right to Request Remote Working
In effect from – TBC
The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 has given all employees in Ireland the right to request remote work where possible.
This entitlement is available for all employees who have at least six months of service with a company. According to the legislative framework, employees must make their request at least eight weeks in advance of an intended start date. Employers must respond to the request within four weeks.
Employers must weigh business needs against the needs of the employee when making a decision and those who refuse a request must have a genuine reason for doing so. The government has published a checklist for employers which is also useful for employees.
PRSI Rate to Increase
In effect from – October 2024
Pay related social insurance (PRSI) will increase by an additional 0.1% in October 2024.
This is a very low change and will have very little impact on an employee’s salary, but it is still worth noting. Remember that it is the responsibility of an employer to make sure that the correct rate of PRSI is collected from an employee’s salary.
A New Auto-Enrollment Pension Scheme
In effect from – September 2024
New pension rules will come into effect in September 2024 for all employees who earn €20,000 or more and who are aged between 23 and 60. These employees must be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme while anyone outside the scheme requirements can voluntarily join.
Employers must match every €3 that an employee pays into their pension while the state will also pay an additional €1. Contributions in the first year are 1.5% of gross pay and this rate will increase by 1.5% each year until it reaches 6%. All contributions up to an upper salary limit of €80,000 must be matched by the employer. Anything above this threshold is at the discretion of the employer.
Increase the Cost of Business Grant
In effect from – September 2024
The government has made provisions for smaller businesses to mitigate some of the financial impact felt by the new changes. This comes in the form of the Increased Cost of Business Grant which can be applied for through local authorities. Businesses can receive a grant for as much as 50% of the costs generated as a direct result of the changes.
The first of these grants will be paid during the first quarter of 2024.
The parental leave will be of interest to candidates looking to start a family but unsure about changing roles. Meanwhile, the right to request remote work will certainly be of interest to many candidates who may be interested in working in a hybrid or fully remote role. Employees of companies that do not have a remote working policy in place should pay close attention to any development in-house as, remember, this is an entitlement and not a benefit.
If you’re currently on the lookout for a new challenge and don’t know where to start, get in touch with Software Placements. We’ll not only help you in your job search but also help you navigate the sometimes confusing area of job entitlements and benefits.