Your sick leave rights

Your sick leave rights

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Because Humans get sick sometimes!

1. If you, your spouse, or a person who depends on you for care is sick or injured, you don’t have to go to work

In fact, it’s a bad idea to go to work sick. You might infect your work mates or slow your recovery

2. If you’re sick, you need to notify your employer as soon as reasonably possible

In some circumstances, eg. you're in a coma, you might not be able to call before your shift starts. But that’s OK, cause it’s about what's reasonable

3. By law, all workers in Aotearoa are entitled to 5 days paid sick leave after 6 months in a job. You’ll then get 5 days per year. Sick leave you don’t use carries over to the next year (to a max of 20 days)

But it’s good to check your agreement, though. You’ll never have less than 5 days, but some union collective agreements have more!

4. You have a right to privacy

You don't have to tell your boss what’s wrong with you, especially if it’s personal. Take your medical advice from a Dr or someone who is qualified to give it, not your manager

5. If your employer asks you for a medical certificate/proof - they have to pay your expenses (unless you’re off for 3+ days, then you pay for proof)

If you’ve been away for under three days and your employer asks for proof, ask them why. They need to have a reason to doubt you. Going to the Dr can be costly, reasonable costs can include travel, even childcare.

6. Genuine sick leave use is not a form of misconduct

False sick leave claims can be a form of misconduct, but suffering real illness or injury isn't something you should be punished for. You shouldn’t be disciplined for something that's out of your control. If this occurs contact your delegate or organiser at Unite Union