There will be a major change for self employed people from the beginning of next month as people who are unable to work due a brief illness will be entitled to sick pay.
The news which will be a welcome boost for some 326,000 self employed workers was confirmed by the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty this week.
Under the new scheme those who work for themselves and pay PRSI will be entitled to claim the invalidity pension if they become unwell for short period of time.
The scheme which is considered a first for self employed people will see those wishing to avail of the pension being given a weekly sum of €198 whilst they are out of work.
It is understood that any self employed worker can apply for the pension as long as they pay PRSI, the department also say the scheme is not means tested and the scheme is open to anyone who needs to apply.
Announcing the new scheme Ms Doherty said the latest move will provide much needed stability to self employed workers who are often forced to work even though they are unwell.
Ms Doherty added that the new scheme will begin on December 1st.
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