Video: Paid sick leave, Leaving Cert begins, partial solar eclipse

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Statutory sick pay

All employees in Ireland will be entitled to three sick days paid at 70 per cent of their wage next year, under a new law brought forward by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Mr Varadkar said the Government's sick leave Bill will also see the paid leave capped at a daily rate of €110.

The statutory sick pay scheme will be phased in over a four-year period, starting with three days per year in 2022.

Exam season

Leaving Certificate exams got under way this morning, as the class of 2021 becomes the second to undergo the process during a pandemic.

Sixth year students this year have the option of sitting the written exams, accepting calculated grades or choosing both, on a subject-by-subject basis. They will be credited with the better of the two results.

Almost 90 per cent of the 61,500 Leaving Cert candidates have opted to sit written exams, with 52,000 registering to sit at least one.

Unemployment claims

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The number of people claiming the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) is at its lowest since December, new figures show.

Around 285,000 people received the Covid-19 jobless payment this week, a decrease of more than 24,000 on last week.

It is the first time the number of PUP claimants has fallen below 300,000 this year.

Back to the office?

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has asked the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to consider a phased return to offices in August, rather than September.

Mr Varadkar said remote and blended work should become a much bigger feature of life after Covid.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the HSE is anticipating hybrid working practices, with some workers returning to the workplace and others continuing to work from home.

Paul Reid told Newstalk Breakfast that he would like to see a return to life as it was in 2019, if it could be done in a safe way, as it would be good for mental health.

Sinn Féin polling

A senior Sinn Féin figure has denied the party deceived people by having members pose as representatives of a fake polling company.

Reports released in the media this morning state that a 77-page internal training manual gave members “detailed instructions” on how to pose as researchers working for a polling company to question voters and compile data.

In response to the reports, Sinn Féin TD Eoin O'Broin told Newstalk radio that the polling was something the party had to do as it could not afford commercial polling at the time.

Baby death

Ireland
Family of 'beautiful' baby killed by dog thanks co...
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The family of a three-month-old who died after she was attacked by a dog at her home in Clashmore, Co Waterford has issued a statement of thanks following a massive outpouring of solidarity in the community since the tragedy occurred on Monday.

In an interview on Deise Today on WLR FM, the infant's grand aunt Dianne Wood said the support received in recent days was of huge comfort to the relatives of the “beautiful” little girl, named locally as Mia O'Connell.

Partial eclipse

There will be a fantastic sight tomorrow morning as almost half of the sun will be covered by the moon.

Astronomy Ireland's chairman and editor David Moore said Co Donegal residents will have the best view of the deep partial solar eclipse between 10am and 12.30pm tomorrow.

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