From 24 July 2021 an employees entitlement to paid sick leave is increasing from 5 to 10 days a year.  The main thing to understand is that for existing staff, this change does not happen straight away but instead on their next sick leave anniversary date.  Here are a few examples:

Example 1: Employee started work on 1 April 2020

Once an employee has reached six months of continuous service, they are entitled to paid sick leave.  For this employee, that would mean their anniversary date for sick pay is 1 October each year.  Their entitlement to the new 10 days paid sick leave will therefore start on 1 October 2021.

Example 2: Employee started work on 1 January 2020

This employee's sick pay anniversary date is therefore 1 July (being six months after their start date anniversary).  As 1 July 2021 is before the date of the change to 10 days paid sick leave, they will not be entitled to the 10 days until their following sick pay anniversary date on 1 July 2022. 

Example 3: New Employees

New staff who started work on or after 24 January 2021 will receive 10 days paid sick leave on reaching their first six month sick pay anniversary date. 


Casual employees are also entitled to paid sick leave provided they meet the following criteria:

  1. They have six months' current continuous employment with the same employer, or
  2. They have worked for the employer for six months for:
  • an average of 10 hours per week, and
  • at least one hour in every week or 40 hours in every month.

Their entitlement is then the same as for a regular employee. 


It is important to note that paid sick leave is not adjusted in any way for the number days a week a person works on average.  If you have an employee who only works 1 or 2 days a week, they are still entitled to the full 10 days paid sick leave per year. 

Lastly, the maximum entitlement an employee can hold of paid sick leave is 20 days. 

If you have any questions or would like to know more about how the above changes will impact your business, please do not hesitate to be in touch with the team at Stewart & Co.