CIPD calls for ‘generous’ approach to sick pay planning
HR and learning organisation CIPD is urging employers to put the wellbeing of their workers front and centre as they determine their approach to sick leave, self-isolation and pay during the coronavirus outbreak.
Director of CIPD Ireland Mary Connaughton says: “Like all of us, employers are facing a period of uncertainty. Current indications are that a significant number of people will need to spend time away from their workplaces and we welcome the steps the government took this week to recognise the need to provide financial assistance. The new sick pay legislation must be comprehensive and ensure no worker can fall through the cracks because of their type of employment, and it must be enacted without any unnecessary delay. In the best case scenario, payments still won’t be processed for a few weeks, and in that period, we would appeal to employers to support workers as best they can”.
“CIPD is providing guidance for our members on the best way to cope with the situation, but we do urge employers to put the health and welfare of their teams first and be as generous as possible when it comes to making decisions around time off and sick pay”.
Mary says she hopes that the government that is in place once the concern around the outbreak eases will be in a position to consider providing assistance to companies: “There is an awareness that the current situation will raise questions about the viability of some businesses which is extremely hard to cope with. However for the time being, CIPD Ireland believes worker safety must take precedence over other considerations”.
Mary Connaughton’s comments coincide with the release of CIPD Ireland and Industrial Relations News’ Private Sector Pay and Employment survey 2020.
Some of the main findings of the research based on information gathered in January include:
Almost half (47%) of employers are planning a pay increase in 2020
A large majority (79%) are planning paying bonuses this year
Almost half (45%) are planning to increase employee numbers this year
Recruitment (65%) and Retention of suitable employees (64%) are by far the most important factors influencing pay strategy
Mary Connaughton says that there are many positives to take from the report: “The research findings are encouraging and point to an optimism that has been sustained in the business community as Brexit takes effect. Although a testing time may be in store for now, it should be acknowledged that the overall health of the Irish economy will be an asset in coping with the uncertainty”.