Do I need to update my employment agreement with change in sick leave?

by | Jul 26, 2021 | Employment Agreements, News & Events

With the increase in sick leave taking effect this week, and a large volume of case law changes, and proposed further changes in legislation I have taken this opportunity to do a major overhaul of the employment agreements in conjunction with my Lawyer.  And the new agreements are now loaded onto the website.

Do I need to issue new agreements to existing staff?
No, the changes in legislation will automatically overwrite anything you have in your current employment agreements.

However, we do recommend that, if you are making any changes such as a promotion etc, that you do take the opportunity to issue updated employment agreements rather than variations to agreements.

What are the changes?
The key focus of the changes made are:

  1. To increase sick leave to 10 days
  2. Included Bereavement leave for Stillbirth and miscarriage
  3. Updated the naming of Domestic Violence leave to Family Violence leave
  4. Included secondary employment and non-competition as standard clauses in the templates
  5. Included consent for drug testing in the standard templates  
  6. To future proof the agreements as much as possible by removing express references to specific Acts, and just refer to “as per Legislation”.
  7. To remove reference to the specified Public holidays.  There has been a lot about Matariki, however, this is still not actually legislated, nor is there a Bill proposed to change legislation.  As such, my anticipation, at this point, is that Matariki will become a Public Holiday, but one of the other Public Holidays will be dropped.
  8. Updated the Unforseen events and Natural Disaster clause in line with the case law learnings of the last year.  The key changes to the wording are underpinning that you HAVE to consult before making changes, the employer can’t make unilateral changes, and can’t force people to take annual leave.

Should I update my agreement templates for any new staff I take on board from now?
Yes.  Given that there have been so many changes in legislation and case law over the last year, and so many more proposed over the coming years, I would strongly encourage you to update your employment agreement templates.

The simplest way to achieve this is to adopt the HRtoolkit templates for new staff
Or, we are of course happy to do an employment agreement review for you.

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  1. 10am 29th July – Induction – ensuring you make the right first impression
  2. 10am 26th August – Managing flexible working arrangements
  3. 10am 30th September – Setting KPI’s t truly drive your business
  4. 10am 28th October – Successful performance reviews
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  6. TBA once there is greater clarity on changes – Law change update


Lisa Mackay

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