Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.
“Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Mr Wood said.
“COVID-19 has shown us how important it is to stay home when you’re sick. By giving people a minimum of 10 days sick leave, we’re helping them to do that and stop bugs from spreading.
“Having a healthy and well-rested workforce also helps businesses. Studies have suggested that people working while sick are 20 per cent less productive and the healthiest workers are up to three times more productive.
“It’s important to remember that employees will become eligible for the increased entitlement at different times over the next year, in line with their work anniversary dates. This makes it easier for the businesses that offer the minimum entitlement to implement the change – many already offer 10 days or more, and this will mean no change for them.”
He said new employees would still be eligible for at least the minimum 10 days sick leave after six months in a job and the current maximum entitlement of any unused sick leave stays at 20 days annually.
“As the tripartite Holidays Act Taskforce recommended, we will make some sick leave available from an employee’s first day as part of further reforms to the Holidays Act. I expect to introduce legislation to make these additional changes next year,” Mr Wood said.