10-day sick leave rule takes effect in New Zealand

The legislation doubling the minimum number of sick leave from five to 10 took effect on Saturday, July 24, for employees in New Zealand.
By: | July 27, 2021

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood said the move will bring benefits to both businesses and employees to “help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy”. 

“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,” he said. 

He added that having a healthy and well-rested workforce also helps businesses, citing studies have suggested that people working while sick are 20% less productive, while the healthiest workers are up to three times more productive. 

Employees are eligible for the increased entitlement at different times over the next year in line with their work anniversary dates, he said. 

READ: Self-employment among women in New Zealand rises

The minister said new employees will 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, according to Xinhua. 

The Holidays Increasing Sick Leave Amendment Bill was passed back on May 19, with Labour, the Greens voting in favour and the ACT and National Party voting against.