Bill passes to double sick leave to 10 days

Published: 20 May 2021

Parliament has passed the Government Bill to double employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days.

Under the current Holidays Act 2003, employees are entitled to sick leave once they have worked with the same employer for 6 months. Sick leave can be used when an employee is unwell or injured, or when someone who depends on them for care is unwell or injured.

The new legislation will come into effect 2 months after the Bill receives Royal assent. This is expected to be around mid-July.

After the Bill’s commencement, an employee would first become entitled to 10 days’ sick leave on their next entitlement date. This means that new employees will receive 10 days’ entitlement as soon as they become entitled to sick leave (i.e. after they have completed 6 months’ service). Employees who already have a sick leave entitlement when the legislation comes into force will become entitled to 10 days’ sick leave on their next entitlement date. That is, on the 12 month anniversary of when they last became entitled to sick leave.

The Government has also begun work to implement the recommendations of the Holidays Act Taskforce, which includes giving employees access to sick leave from day 1 of employment, as opposed to only being eligible after 6 months. The Government expects to introduce this legislation in early 2022.

Read the Minister’s announcement on increasing sick leave(external link) – Beehive website

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