Relationship to ACC entitlements
The following rules apply in relation to the ACC scheme:
- When the employee is taking leave for the first week of a non-work accident, sick leave may be used.
- If an employee has a work-related accident, the employer has to pay “first week compensation” and cannot require the employee to take that time off as sick leave.
If an employee is receiving “first week compensation” for a work-related accident, an employer and employee can agree that the employer will top up the “first week compensation” payment from 80% to 100% by reducing the employee’s sick leave entitlement by one day for each five days’ leave taken.
- If an employee has a work-related or non-work-related accident and remains on weekly compensation, the employer cannot require the employee to take time off as sick leave.
- If an employee is receiving weekly compensation from ACC, the employer has no obligation to pay the employee.
- Where the period of leave on ACC is in excess of five days (for either workplace or non-work accidents), the employer and employee can agree that the employer will top up the ACC payment from 80% to 100% by reducing the employee’s sick leave entitlement by one day for each five days’ leave taken.
For information about ACC entitlements see www.acc.co.nz.
Unused sick leave under the Holidays Act 2003 is automatically carried over. For example, if someone uses only one day’s sick leave from the five-day entitlement in a 12-month period, they may carry over the other four days, so in the next 12-month period, the total entitlement is nine days’ sick leave. The maximum accumulation under the Act is 20 days’ leave, although employment agreements can provide more generous sick leave and/or accumulation.
Accumulated sick leave cannot normally be exchanged for cash, or form part of any final payment to the employee on resignation or termination, unless the employment agreement requires this.Sick leave entitlements are not pro-rated in any way. For example, even if a part-time employee works three days a week, they become entitled to five days’ sick leave a year after being in employment for six months. Sick leave also accumulates to up to 20 days for part-time employees.