Labour promises to double sick leave to 10 days

The Labour Party has promised to double annual sick leave, further increase the minimum wage as well as providing a living wage for all workers in the public sector if they're re-elected. 

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The party is also vowing to lift the current minimum wage next year should it get re-elected. Source: 1 NEWS

In an announcement this morning, spokesperson Andrew Little said their Workplace Relations Policy was about growing jobs and investing in the economy while showing the party's commitment to "working New Zealanders".

What does the policy include:

Sick Leave

Little says the party will raise the number of sick leave days from five to 10 days a year.  

He says 35 per cent of Kiwis turn up to work every year sick and "managing Covid-19 has shown, more than ever, how important it is for workers to be able to stay home if they are sick.

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

Extensions to sick leave could help ensure employees can "fully recover" from their illness before returning back to work, Little says.

This change would bring New Zealand in line with Australia which offers 10 days paid sick leave for workers.

Increasing wages and improving pay equity

Labour is also promising to lift the minimum wage to $20 an hour by 2021 if re-elected for another term.

"It’s time to leave behind New Zealand’s low wage culture...a race to the bottom on wages comes at the cost to our most vulnerable workers and undermines productivity," Little says.

Labour has already increased the minimum wage from $15.75 to $18.90 per hour. 

Last week, Little promised living wage guarantees for all government contractors who would nearly be $100 better off per week under the proposed change. 

This comes as an extension to their 2018 policy, which introduced the equivalent of the living wage for all core public servants.

Other reforms include:

- More protection for vulnerable workers.

- Raising the age requirement for hazardous work.  

- Employment leslislation reform to make it harder to undermine collective agreements.

- Legislating Fair Pay Agreements.

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