There is not a shadow of doubt behind the perseverance of the NZ government, along with its critical departments- immigration and employment, behind fortifying the state of the country and its citizens amidst the horrible pandemic situations worldwide. While the entire world was viewing the latest vaccine innovation as a silver lining, the COVID-19 virus is back with a more potent mutated variant. However, the NZ government is acting proactively to ensure its countrymen's safety and security without affecting the state of the indigenous industries and the job ecosystem.

Though it is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic shook global economies of scale, including that of New Zealand, the country has brought about progressive reforms to mitigate the viral pandemic risks. Amongst these, the immersive employment law reforms in store for 2021, an increase of minimum wages, paid parental leaves, and other relevant measures have already had a positive impact on the economy and the industries. According to the employment department personnel, the prime motivation behind these reforms is to ensure quality workplace conditions devoid of employer exploitation. In addition, they have also had a tremendous effect in rejuvenating the indigenous economy and industrial growth.

The Latest Sick Leave Entitlement and Holiday Amendment Bill

According to the new Holidays amendment bill, the NZ government has decided to increase the sick leave entitlement by the employers of all the organizations in New Zealand. According to the Holiday Act 1993, the total number of sick leave provided to the employees was 5 days per year. After the revision of the Holiday Act 1993, the government has increased the sick leave from 5 days to 10 days per year for every worker. This amendment will be enforced from mid-2021.

Employer Action Code

The NZ government has decided to change different laws regarding the Holiday Act 1993 to benefit employees from an increased number of sick leaves in any company. The reason to amend this bill is to address the inefficient nature of the present entitlement of leaves in various situations. There are events when an employee's family member, children, or partner falls ill.

It is noticed that employers in manufacturing, construction industries, and hospitality and retail departments do not provide additional sick leaves to their workers if they fall sick. To solve this issue, the NZ government has decided to initiate legislation that will provide 10 days of sick leave to all the workers.

Book a consultation with our immigration and employment NZ advisors for detailed information on employee's sick leave entitlement NZ 2021. They will provide all the necessary details and help you realize where you stand regarding the latest amendments.

Provisions of Increasing Sick Leave Amendment Bill NZ

There are various provisions that should be considered while applying for sick leave in NZ.

  • The NZ government will mandatorily increase the employer-paid sick leave from 5 days to 10 days for all the company employees
  • An employee is entitled to take extra 5 days of sick leave once they have completed a period of 12 months. Moreover, any other employee is allowed to take a 10 days sick leave once they have completed a period of 6 months
  • If there are any unused sick leaves in an employee's leave panel, they will be carried forward next year. But the leaves would be reduced from 15 to 10. Despite the reduction, the maximum number of sick leave an employee can take would be 20 days
  • An employee can utilize sick leaves to care for their injured partner, spouse, children, and dependent individuals
  • During the employee sick leave period, the employer is entitled to pay the same salary as they used to earn on regular working days
  • The revised bill is under committee review. Once the bill is approved, all the changes proposed in this bill would take effect after two months. The amendment is expected to come into force around mid-2021
  • Paying employees during the leave period can be a tedious and challenging process if the employers or the concerned department do not maintain proper records
  • Maintaining all the salary records, time records, and leave documents will help an employer pay his employees quickly during the leave period
  • Further, it is vital for an employer to understand the entitlement of workers who do not work full time for any organization

Things you need to know

In regard to these amendments, employees across New Zealand need to be aware of pertinent stuff. Let's discuss some of those.

  • An employee taking sick leave should get paid according to the typical working day, including overtime and bonus income
  • If an employee requires a sick leave before completing 6 months, then he/she is entitled to take sick leaves in advance
  • Employees can carry extra sick leave for more than 15 days if required in emergency conditions
  • These conditions also apply to all casual employees if they have worked for an average of at least 10 hours a week

Employer implications

The NZ government stated that only 50% of the total employers in NZ provide paid sick leaves to their employees. Rest half of them do not pay their employees when they are taking sick leaves in medical condition. The amendment of the sick leave bill will help an individual stay safe throughout the sickness period.

Further, it will also help reduce the spread of diseases and increase the organization's productivity. Employers will review all the present leave policies and budget systems for adequate progress and growth of all the NZ organizations. Reviewing and monitoring leave policies and budget will help manage the leaves of all the employees, but it will also comply with employees' workplace conditions.

Conclusion

For more information on the latest proposals and amendments regarding minimum sick leave entitlement in NZ 2021, book a consultation with us. We would be happy to assist you.