The case of an Auckland city worker heading to work with COVID-19 symptoms shows the need for urgent extended sick leave, Green Party Workplace Relations spokesperson Jan Logie said today.
“What has become abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic is that five days of sick leave annually just doesn’t cut it.
“This has never been enough for New Zealanders who get sick and need to have time off, but COVID-19 has exposed it as urgently needing to change.
“The difference between five and ten days off could be the difference between increased community transmission of COVID-19 or not.
“For workers to be able to stay home when they have cold-like symptoms, they need to have the assurance that they will not lose income that keeps a roof over their head.
“We also need to work to ensure that people can access that leave even if they’ve been working somewhere less than six months, this is critical during such a period of employment flux.
“The Green Party will work with Labour to see if we can ensure increased sick leave before the Christmas period. This should be achievable without NZ First in the tent to slow or stop progressive policies that help New Zealand workers.
“Getting this done before Christmas is critical to ensure peace of mind for businesses and workers alike. To not be able to offer extended sick leave for workers during this busy Christmas period puts us all at risk.”