Sick Leave

Sick Leave May Be Increased To 10 Days Per Year For Employees

The Government introduced the Holidays (Increasing Sick Leave) Amendment Bill to Parliament on 1 December 2020. This Bill proposes to increase an Employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement from five days to 10 days per year. This Bill is currently being looked at by the Education and Workforce Select Committee and public can have their say on any aspect of the proposed changes by making a submission to the Select Committee.

Currently under the Holidays Act 2003, employees are entitled to sick leave once they have worked with the same employer for six months. This includes employees who have worked continuously, as well as those who have worked an average of at least 10 hours per week, including at least one hour a week or 40 hours a month. The current minimum entitlement is five days per year.

When the proposed changes come into force, an employee would first become entitled to 10 days’ sick leave on their next entitlement date; that means employees who have not yet worked for 6 months for their current employer twill receive 10 days entitlement as soon as they become entitled to sick leave (at 6 months).

Those Employees who already have a sick leave entitlement will become entitled to 10 days sick leave on their next entitlement date which will be on the 12-month anniversary of the date they last became entitled to sick leave, when the legislation comes into force.

Employers need to be vigilant in ensuring their employee’s holiday anniversary date is correctly entered into their wage payment software.

Detail about how to make a submission can be found here – https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/how-to-make-a-submission/

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