Are new employees entitled to sick leave?

New employees are entitled to paid sick leave, however, it is important as an employer you understand how entitlements work and your obligations. We have put together some key points below.


Firstly, when can an employee use sick leave?

An employee can access paid sick leave when they cannot work due to a personal illness or injury.


How does sick leave accrual work?

Full-time and part-time employees start accruing sick leave from their first day on the job. That means it doesn’t matter how long they have been an employee. If they are sick or injured they can take any paid sick leave they have accrued.

The yearly entitlement of paid sick and carer’s leave is based on an employee’s ordinary hours of work. It is 10 days for full-time employees, and pro-rata for part-time employees. This can be calculated as 1/26 of an employee’s ordinary hours of work in a year.


Can I ask for proof that the employee is sick?

Yes, as an employer you do have the right to request evidence (such as a medical certificate) from employees who take leave because they are unable to work because of an illness or injury. You can make this request for as little as one day or less off work.

An employee who doesn’t provide evidence when asked, may not be entitled to be paid for their sick or carer’s leave.


How can I communicate leave entitlements to employees?

To help your employees understand their leave entitlements, make sure you have a Leave Policy accessible and in place. If you need assistance to create a Leave Policy, you can click here to purchase, download and edit a professional Leave Policy template. Alternatively, we can create one for you. Click here to contact our team for a no-obligation quote.