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Sick leave entitlements

Who is entitled to sick leave?

Under the Holidays Act 2003 all employees are entitled to a minimum of five days paid sick leave a year after the first six months of continuous employment and an additional five days paid sick leave after each subsequent 12 month period. 

The Holidays Act also provides sick leave entitlements after six months to employees whose employment is not continuous (including casual employees) if, during those six months, they have worked:

        1.  An average of at least 10 hours per week, and
        2.  At least one hour per week or 40 hours per month.

Employers can and frequently do agree to provide sick leave above the minimum entitlement. For example, it is common in many workplaces to provide 6-10 days of sick leave per year.

Click here for more information on sick leave entitlements.

Payment
Payment for sick leave taken should be the amount the employee would ordinarily be paid if they had been at work on the day leave is taken (that is their relevant daily pay). For example, where an employee who normally works' eight hours Tuesday to Friday and four hours Saturday is sick on Saturday, a payment of four hours is due. The payment must include overtime, when overtime would have been worked on the day, if the employee had not been sick.

Click here for information on calculating "relevant daily pay" for sick leave.

Date Modified: Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Disclaimer: The content on this website covers common problems. It will not answer every question and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.State sector employers and employees may be affected by some differences in the laws that apply to them (e.g. State Sector Act 1988).The Department of Labour takes no responsibility for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information on this website, nor for any errors or omissions.