New Zealand Sick Leave Entitlement in 2022
The government has delivered upon its promise to double sick leave entitlements to 10 days per year. As of 24 July 2021 all New Zealand employees are entitled to 10 days of paid sick leave.
The The Holidays Amendment Act 2021 increases minimum sick leave entitlements from 5 to 10 days per year.
Employees can collect a maximum of 20 days of unused sick leave. Employees can carry over 10 days of unused sick leave each year, this use to be 15.
Employees will receive 10 days’ sick leave on their next entitlement date.
Employers can give more sick leave rights than the legal minimums.
Employees who are already offered 10+ days per year of sick leave will see no change.
The entitlement date is 6 months from the date of employment or and every subsequent anniversary.
Employees who commenced work on 24 January (of any year up to 2021) are luckiest as they will receive their entitlements immediately.
The writer was employed on work on 7 June 2019, which unfortunately means that he will not be entitled to the additional sick leave dates until 7 December 2021.
The staggered approach to the new entitlements should lessen the impact on employers’ contingent liability.
The amendment brings New Zealand in line with Australia. Singapore (14 days) and Switzerland (15 days) have greater sick leave entitlements.
The Holidays (Increased Sick Leave) Amendment Act 2021
The Holidays (Increased Sick Leave) Amendment Act 2021 was passed on Monday (24 July 2021). Employers must be aware of these changes to ensure that their contracts are in compliance with the law and update their payroll systems to accommodate the changes.
From 24 July 2021, employees will become eligible to receive the enhanced entitlements. Not everyone becomes entitled to these new entitlements at the same time. Employees will receive 10 days’ sick leave on their next entitlement date.
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