News Article

latest news in employment law

Sick Leave increasing

Published 24 May 2021

Labour's Bill to double employer-funded sick leave for employees, has passed the third reading in Parliament this month.

The Bill is supposed to come into force 2 months from enactment - 24th July 2021.

The Bill, a 2020 election promise from Labour, increases the annual sick leave entitlement from 5 to 10 days each 12 months, following 6 months' service with the employer. Entitlements still get carried over if unused (maximum 10 per year) and accumulate up to 20 days. Making sick leave available to new staff from day 1 of their employment is also expected to be introduced in 2022.

Existing staff benefit from the new entitlements only on their next work anniversary date.

National and Act were outvoted by Labour and Greens on this one. Their arguments that this places a further $1billion burden on NZ business, and this as a reaction to COVID-19 should make it a temporary one, didn't carry much favour in Parliament. As Jan Logie of the Green Party said, if Greens got their way they would remove the onus of medical certificates too.

On other minimum entitlements, in case you missed it; Bereavement leave now includes stillbirths and miscarriages. For more details around this please see this article.