DE Information Note – Illness Benefit for those who pay Class A PRSI

On 1 March 2024, the Department of Education published a new information note, here, which sets out recent changes to illness benefit claims.

Teachers who pay Class A PRSI are normally required to claim Illness Benefit for absences on sick leave in excess of three consecutive days, or when non-consecutive absences in excess of three days occur over a short period. (See part 4 of the information note, on “linking” of non-consecutive sick leave)

However, since 1 January 2024, statutory paid sick leave has increased from three days to five days per year. Therefore, Illness Benefit is no longer payable for the first five sick days in the calendar year, during which time statutory sick pay should be paid.

For the first five days of sick leave used in 2024, teachers will not need to claim Illness Benefit from the DSP, and accordingly there will be no deduction of illness benefit from a teacher’s salary by the DE. If a teacher’s first absence on sick leave is for a period of longer than five days, they will need to claim Illness Benefit from the sixth day of leave.

After a teacher has used five days of paid sick leave in 2024, for any subsequent absences on sick leave in the calendar year, they must claim Illness Benefit after the usual three day waiting period.

The information note linked above includes examples of how this change will operate in practice.