Low-paid workers must be protected so that they do not have to make a choice between "declaring that they have Covid and losing their wages, or their job in some cases," the leader of the Labour Party has said.

The Labour Party has announced proposals to give workers a legal right to sick pay for the first time.

It would also give parents the right to leave if their child has to say at home due to Covid-19.

The Sick Leave and Parental Leave Bill would ensure workers who fall sick get six weeks pay.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Alan Kelly called on the Government to support this "common sense policy" and put the bill into law in the next week and a half.

He highlighted that people in low paid employment have no collective bargaining or unions to make demands for sick pay entitlements.

"We want to make sure that anybody knows that if they have symptoms they can take sick leave and there will be no consequence to them, because across many of those workforces there is no collective bargaining, where there is no union there is no sick pay entitlement," he said.

Mr Kelly said the cost would be borne by both the employer and the State, where illness benefit would go to the employer and the employer would top up the wages of the employee.

He said Ireland is an "outlier" when compared to other European nations, as he said it is one of four countries who do not have a State-mandated sick pay scheme, which he said in the time of Covid-19 is "absolutely necessary."

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has proposed an alternative to the Land Development Agency, saying the agency would not solve the affordable housing crisis.

Mr Ó Broin said the agency would partner with private developers to deliver just 10% social housing and 30% affordable housing on public land, and the rest of the homes delivered would be sold at unaffordable market prices.

Mr Ó Broin said the Government must fund local authorities, approved housing bodies and community housing trusts to build public housing on public land.

He said large-scale mixed income and mixed tenure developments were needed to meet social and affordable housing need.