DHB sector sick and domestic leave

This information is for members working for District Health Boards (DHB)

Quick links:

Sick leave

Full time employees are entitled to ten (10) days sick leave for the first twelve months employment, and 10 working days for each 12 months following. 

Sick leave is pro-rata if you are part time provided that part-time employees receive no fewer than five working days paid sick leave for each twelve month period. The payment is based on the hours you would have worked at the time you took the sick leave.

You should be paid for the amount of hours you were rostered to work on the day you take off sick.  Payment will be at relevant daily pay (refer Public Holidays sheet) for the first 5 days, and at T1 thereafter.

You may be required to provide a medical certificate when you are sick. Your employer should reimburse you for any medical certificate requested within the first three days so keep the receipt if this is required by your employer.

To find out your sick leave balance you can ask your manager or HR personnel.

Back to top

Planned sick leave

Make sure you apply for this as early as possible. If you are turned down you can have the decision reviewed by your HR manager with assistance from your NZNO delegate or organiser.

Back to top

Transferring your sick leave from one DHB to another

If you transfer from one DHB to another and have not had a break in service you can take 20 days of accumulated sick leave to your new job. A break in service is more than 3 months (or more than 12 months if you have been actively engaged in nursing and midwifery work or study). This entitlement only applies to members who are registered under the HPCAA (Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act). This provision does not apply to health care assistants and hospital aides.

Back to top

What can I do if I have used my sick leave?

If you are part-time and have worked varied hours you can request a calculation comparing actual hours versus contracted hours. If additional leave is the result, it will be granted. Calculation is on the anniversary of your start date with your current DHB.             

If you are full time or part time and have used your sick leave entitlement you can request an additional 10 days (pro-rata for part timers) discretionary leave per year. Your employer must take account of your length of service, attendance record, consequences of not providing the leave and any unusual and/or extenuating circumstances.

If you are refused you can request reasons in writing.

Up to five days of discretionary leave may be debited as an advance on next year’s entitlement.

Back to top

Using annual leave when you are sick

Your employer must not require you to take annual leave because you are sick. If this is suggested, please contact NZNO.

If you have used up all your sick leave and you are not granted discretionary leave you may request to take annual leave and the employer may agree to your request. If your request is declined you may have to take leave without pay.

Back to top

Domestic leave

Domestic leave is used to attend to a dependent such as a child, partner or other family member. This is deducted from your available sick leave balance and is not a separate allocation. You can be required to provide a medical certificate for the dependent.

Back to top

Casual employees

According to the Holidays Act 2003 casual employees are entitled to 5 days of sick leave per year if they have worked for the employer for an average of at least 10 hours per week, including at least one hour per week or 40 hours per month during the previous six months.

Back to top

Where can I find out more?         

  • Speak to the NZNO delegate on your ward
  • Read further in the DHB MECA or the policy documents at your workplace
  • Call the NZNO member support centre on 0800 28 38 48.

Download a printable version of this page with references.

Back to top