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Our premier guide to understanding sick leave entitlements and how payment for sick leave is calculated.
An employee is entitled to sick leave after they have completed 6 months’ current continuous
employment with the employer or, if that does not apply, after the employee has over a
period of 6 months worked for the employer for at least an average of 10 hours a week during
that period and not less than 1 hour in every week or 40 hours in every month during that
An employee who becomes entitled to sick leave is entitled to 5 days’ sick leave to be taken
when the employee, or the employee’s spouse or dependant, is sick or injured.
Untaken sick leave entitlements may be carried over from year to year up to a maximum of
20 days’ current entitlement.
An employer and employee may agree that sick leave may be taken in advance.
An employer must pay an employee the employee’s Relevant Daily Pay or Average Daily Pay
for every day taken as sick leave that would otherwise be a working day for the employee.
An employer and employee may agree to reinstate annual leave for a period that the
employee would otherwise take sick leave instead of annual holidays.
If an employee is sick before a scheduled annual holiday starts the employer must allow the
employee to take sick leave.
You can require proof of illness or injury if the employee is away for three consecutive days.
You may also require proof when the employee is away for less than three consecutive
calendar days; in this case you must inform the employee as soon as possible of the
requirement to provide a medical certificate and must pay for the cost of the certificate.
If an employee is required to provide proof of illness or injury in support of sick leave you
may withhold payment for that sick leave until the required proof is provided.
Proof of injury or illness includes a medical certificate.
An employer and employee may agree to additional or enhanced sick leave entitlements and
different rules can apply in relation to the enhanced entitlements.
You are required to keep a detailed holiday and leave record for every employee.
You are required to provide every new employee with information about their entitlements
under the Holidays Act 2003.
The provisions of the Holidays Act 2003 are enforceable in the Employment Relations
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