Labour makes election pledge to increase sick leave entitlement

By Te Ao - Māori News

Labour is promising to increase sick leave from five days to ten days a year in their latest election pledge released today.

The  Labour Party, which issued its Workplace Relations Policy in a statement today, said it also plans to continue to lift the minimum wage as well as implement fair pay agreements.

“Managing Covid-19 has shown, more than ever, how important it is for workers to be able to stay home if they are sick. That’s why we are expanding sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year," Labour's workplace spokesperson Andrew Little said in the statement.

"This will mean people can stay at home if they are unwell and will also provide support and flexibility for working parents."

Little said workers have an important role to play in boosting the country's economy.

“Workers play a key role in getting our economy moving. We cannot grow successful businesses without a strong and thriving workforce," he said.

"By investing in our workers, we are supporting New Zealand families while continuing to boost businesses and our economy."  

Labour's policy is also aimed at improving wages as part of New Zealand's economic recovery from Covid-19, Little said.

“It’s time to leave behind New Zealand’s low wage culture. That’s why Labour will continue to lift the minimum wage, as well as implement Fair Pay Agreements. A race to the bottom on wages comes at the cost of our most vulnerable workers and undermines our productivity. Investing in our people needs to be a key part of our economic recovery from Covid-19.

“We want a productive and highly skilled workforce where everyone shares in the benefits of economic growth.” 

Other key provisions:

  • Recognising security guards as vulnerable workers to ensure their terms and conditions are protected
  • Ensuring that Seafarer Welfare Centres provide better services
  • Raising the age for workers to be allowed to perform hazardous work, and ensure all workers have the right to elect health and safety representatives
  • Strengthening the Employment Relations Act to make it harder for collective agreements to be undermined