The Government has passed the Holidays Amendment Bill, regarding sick leave, to increase the minimum employee paid sick leave entitlement from 5 days per year to 10 days per year.
With the Holidays Amendment Bill now in it’s final stages, it’s likely that changes to sick leave for employees will come into effect in mid to late July.
What are the Changes?
An employee’s minimum statutory entitlement to sick leave will be increased from 5 paid sick leave days per year, to 10 days each year.
This increase will occur on the employee’s next entitlement date which is based on their anniversary date. That is, on the 12 month anniversary of when they last became entitled to sick leave. New employees will receive the 10 paid days entitlement once their sick leave entitlement kicks in.
The new legal entitlement is a minimum, regardless of any previous contractual agreement. Employee contracts which already provide for 10 or more days sick leave per year will not be affected.
Once finalised by the Government, it is recommended that employee’s clearly communicate this change with employees, so they are clear on when their entitlement comes into effect, and new employment agreements should also be updated.
There are also some changes to carry over of unused sick leave, that will only affect those who already receive greater than 10 days sick leave per year, and the maximum of 20 days remains unchanged. This however, should also be updated in new employment agreements.
What is to come?
We still expect further legislation to pass regarding leave calculations and entitlements. In relation to sick leave, we anticipate the requirement to show sick leave entitlements on payslips; therefore with this current change to sick leave entitlements, it may be a perfect time to also show the new sick leave entitlements.