As the government continues with its austerity programme some of the measures introduced in Budget 2014 will have a financial impact on employers.
Maternity benefit is to be standardised from 1st January 2014. All recipients will receive €230 per week. However, many employers top up the salary of employees on maternity leave by paying them the difference between their maternity benefit and their normal salary. Where this is the case, the budgetary change will obviously result in increased payments from employers. Employers should review their maternity payment policies to assess the potential financial impact this may have.
Up to 1 January 2014, employees who are absent from work on sick leave will be entitled to illness benefit after three days of absence. From 1 January 2014, this is increased to 6 days. Many employers in the private sector pay employees for this initial three day absence. In addition, similar to maternity benefit, many employers pay employees on sick leave the difference between illness benefit and the employee’s normal salary. Again, employers should review their sick pay policies in this regard.
The pension levy on pension fund assets has been increased to 0.75% for 2014. A rate of 0.15% will apply in 2015. In most cases, it is up to the trustees of a pension scheme to decide on how the pension levy is to be funded. Depending on how it is funded, this may have an impact on the employer.
For more information, please contact Michelle O’Riordan of our Employment and Pensions Unit at [email protected] or +353 (0)61 44 55 53.