Sick Leave entitlement increasing soon
9 July 2021
The Government approved the increase of an employee’s sick leave entitlements from 5 days per year to 10 days per year, effective from 24 July 2021.
The extra 5 paid days would become available on the anniversary of the employee’s sick leave entitlement, that is, six months after the employee started employment with the employer, then each 12 month anniversary thereafter.
Any employee can only accrue/carry over unused sick leave up to the maximum of 20 days per year. If the employment agreement stipulates a more beneficial cap to unused sick leave, e.g. 30 days, the employer has to abide by that, there is no need to increase this as it is already more than the legally prescribed amount.
- If a new employee has started with an employer and his/her entitlement (after six months of employment) becomes available before or on 23 July 2021, the employee will be entitled to 5 days paid sick leave.
- If a new employee has started with an employer and his/her entitlement (after six months of employment) becomes available on or after 24 July 2021, the employee will be entitled to 10 days paid sick leave.
- Same scenario would apply for existing staff whose entitlements are renewing. If the entitlement renews before or on 23 July 2021, they will be entitled to 5 days paid sick leave until their next anniversary where they will get 10 days paid sick leave.
- If the entitlement renews on or after 24 July 2021, they will be entitled to 10 days paid sick leave.
Because this is a legislative change to entitlements, there is not necessarily a need to sign variation agreements to reflect this with all staff, but you do have to abide by the new laws. A general notice of the change informing all staff of this entitlement is a sign of good faith and recommended.
(SOURCE: Employer Assistance, employers.co.nz)