21 Jun 2021

Increase in sick leave entitlements- what does this mean?

Employees can use a sick leave if they or their dependent is unwell or injured. Under the current Holidays Act 2003, employees are entitled to sick leave once they have worked with the same employer for six months. This includes employees who have worked continuously as well as those who have worked an average of at least 10 hours per week, including at least one hour a week or 40 hours a month.

The latest bill that increases the amount of employer funded sick leave from 5 days at present to 10, and consequentially doubling the amount, has passed its third and final reading in Parliament.

This Bill comes into force mid July, and is when the changes take effect. In line with their individual sick leave entitlement based on their work anniversary dates, employees will become eligible for the extra sick leave while new employees will be eligible after six months of continuous employment.

Important things to remember-

-          The annual maximum sick leave entitlements are 20 days currently- that does not change after this bill comes into force.

-          Minimum sick leave entitlements will increase to 10 days each year.

-          An employee may carry over up to 10 days’ sick leave.

-          New legislation may be introduced next year to make some sick leave available from an employee’s first day.