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Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

Labour promise to extend sick leave will have huge impact in early childhood education

19 September 2020

NZEI Te Riu Roa is welcoming Labour’s announcement today that it would double minimum sick leave entitlements to 10 days per year if returned to Government.

President Liam Rutherford says inadequate sick leave is an issue across the education sector, particularly in early childhood where many teachers only receive the statutory minimum of five days’ sick leave.

“This is a great win for our members, who backed the Council of Trade Unions’ 10,000-strong petition to the government earlier this month calling for an increase in mandated sick leave allowances for workers,” he says.

“Illness spreads extremely quickly between children, teachers and whānau. Increased sick leave means that if teachers or whānau get sick, they’ll be able to stay home and stop the spread rather than feel they have to keep working to pay the bills,” he says.

“Safer sick leave provisions would promote safer environments for our tamariki, both at home and in their schools and centres.”

NZEI Te Riu Roa has also welcomed Labour’s commitment to raise the legal minimum wage to $20 per hour in 2021.