Under the New Zealand Holidays Act, employees who have worked continuously for an employer for six months become entitled to sick leave after six months of work. Currently, employees receive five days of sick leave.
Twelve months later, employees are again entitled to a further five days of sick leave. This new sick leave can be added to the sick leave employees have not used previously. Under the Holidays Act, the maximum amount of unused sick leave that an employee can carry over is 20 days unless an employer agrees otherwise.
On 24 July 2021, the Holidays (Increasing Sick Leave) Amendment Act will come into force. The amendment increases the minimum entitlement to sick leave from five days to ten days per year. The maximum amount under the Holidays Act that may be carried over will stay at 20 days.
Therefore, new employees, who begin employment on or after 24 July 2021, will be entitled to ten days sick leave after six months’ continuous employment.
Existing employees who have already become entitled to sick leave will be entitled to ten days’ sick leave on their next entitlement anniversary on or after 24 July 2021.