Supplementary Order Paper No 33

No 33

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Holidays (Increasing Sick Leave) Amendment Bill

Proposed amendment

Jan Logie, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

New clause 5A

After clause 5 (page 1, lines 11–12), insert:

5A Section 68 amended (Proof of sickness or injury)

Replace section 68(1A) with:

(1A)

Despite subsection (1), the employer may require proof of sickness or injury within 3 consecutive calendar days if the employer—

(a)

has reasonable grounds to suspect that the sick leave being taken by the employee is not genuine because none of the grounds in section 65(1) are met; and

(b)

informs the employee, as early as possible after forming the suspicion that the sick leave being taken is not genuine, that the proof is required; and

(c)

agrees to meet the employee’s reasonable expenses in obtaining the proof.

Explanatory note

The purpose of this Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) is to ensure practical availability of employer-funded sick leave for employees. The SOP enables New Zealand employees to access sick leave by removing the barrier of a compulsory medical certificate, unless an employer has reasonable grounds to believe an employee (or their spouse, partner, or dependant) is not genuinely sick. It does this by returning the Act to how it was before amendments made by the Holidays Amendment Act 2010. This reflects societal expectations about work and just treatment. It can be challenging to obtain medical certificates at short notice, especially when the health system is focused on the response to COVID-19 and in rural areas where there is no doctor nearby.