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News / Minimum sick leave entitlements increasing to 10 days from 24 July

Minimum sick leave entitlements increasing to 10 days from 24 July

Minimum sick leave entitlements increasing to 10 days from 24 July

Posted July 22, 2021

Media Release: Employment New Zealand

What is changing?

Employees currently (before 24 July 2021) get a minimum of 5 days’ sick leave per year after their first 6 months service (their first entitlement date) when meeting the eligibility criteria, and then 5 days per year on each following 12-month anniversary of that date.

The Holidays (Increasing Sick Leave) Amendment Act 2021 comes into effect on 24 July 2021. The Act increases minimum sick leave entitlements from 5 to 10 days per year.

Other key aspects of minimum sick leave rights remain the same:

Employees can still accumulate up to 20 days of unused sick leave. This means employees can now carry over up to 10 days of unused sick leave each year instead of 15.

The employer and employee can agree to more sick leave rights than the legal minimums. For example, give unlimited sick leave, or the option to accrue all unused sick leave.

Employees who have already agreed to 10 or more days of sick leave per year in their employment agreement will see no change.

When do employees get the 10 days per year sick leave?

Employees get the extra 5 sick days based on their next entitlement date that occurs on or after 24 July 2021. An employee’s entitlement date will be either after reaching 6 months employment, or on their sick leave entitlement anniversary. A sick leave anniversary is the date 12 months after an employee was last entitled to sick leave.

Photo: Employment NZ