New Sick Leave Entitlement

With winter rapidly approaching and the continued effect of Covid-19, it is timely that sick leave entitlement will increase from 5 to 10 days. The Holidays Amendment Bill has now been passed in parliament and will take effect from 24th July 2021.

Here are some details you will need to know as an Employer.


  • All employees who meet the requirements are entitled to a minimum of 5 sick days every 12 months.
  • 20 days is the maximum an employee can accumulate; the employer can agree to give more.

Note: Sick leave is not pro-rated; for example, an employee who works one day every week is entitled to 5 sick days.

What you need to know

  • Employees will get the extra five days when they reach their next entitlement date – either after reaching 6 months’ employment or on their sick leave entitlement anniversary (12 months after they were last entitled to sick leave).
  • Employees who already get 10 or more sick days a year will not be affected by this change.
  • The maximum amount of unused sick leave that an employee can be entitled to will remain 20 days.

Source - employment.govt.nz/news-and-updates

What action should you take?

  • Check how your payroll software provider will manage the changes
  • Amend any new employment agreements to show 10 sick leave days
  • Talk to your employees to make sure they are aware of the changes