One change that will be taking effect on Saturday 24 July 2021 affects employee sick leave entitlements – entitlements for eligible employees will be increasing from five to ten days per year.
To help you understand this change and how it will affect your workplace, Humankind have created this guide. In it, we will cover:
- FAQs – including a detailed overview of the changes
- How to prepare your workplace for these changes
- What else you might need to consider
We know employers come across some challenging situations when dealing with sick leave. If you have any questions about how these changes will affect your workplace, please get in touch with one of the team at Humankind.
What changes are being made to sick leave entitlements for employees?
Two changes will be made to sick leave entitlements for employees:
1) Minimum sick leave entitlements will increase to 10 days per year
Currently employees are entitled to a minimum of five days’ sick leave for each 12-month period if they:
- have six months’ current continuous employment with the same employer; OR
- have worked for the employer for six months for an average of 10 hours per week, and at least one hour in every week or 40 hours in every month.
Employees will still need to meet the criteria set out above, which means the six-month ‘waiting period’ for sick leave will still apply for now (this is likely to change in the future when more wide-sweeping changes are made to the Holidays Act 2003).
2) The amount of sick leave employees can carry over will change to 10 days per year
Currently, employees can carry over up to 15 days’ sick leave, up to a maximum of 20 days’ current entitlement in any year. This change means employees will only be able to carry over 10 days’ sick leave, up to a maximum entitlement of 20 days per year.
This change does not affect the total amount of sick leave an employee can accumulate – the change simply means that the amount of leave that can be carried over each year has been adjusted to align with the entitlement increase.
Employers can still choose to offer more than the minimum provisions. For example, employers can offer more than 10 days’ sick leave per year, allow employees to carry over more than 10 days each year, or allow employees to accumulate more than 20 days’ sick leave in total.