Sick leave increases & managing mental health in the workplace
Increase to Sick leave entitlements
From 24 July the sick leave entitlement increases to 10 days per year. The extra 5 days is applied after the completion of 6 months continuous employment, or on the next sick leave entitlement anniversary (12 months after the previous entitlement). This means that anyone employed after 24 January 2021 will be entitled to 10 days sick leave.
The amount of sick leave that can be accumulated remains at 20 days unless more generous entitlement is allowed in the employment agreement.
Our employment agreement templates have been updated to reflect the changes.
Mental Health in the workplace
In the last year we have noticed a marked increase in queries about how to manage employees who present with or disclose mental health issues.
While we can’t assist with the clinical side we do have information on HealthyPractice about dealing with the employment side at this link(once logged on) https://www.healthypractice.co.nz/members/human-resources/leave/sick-leave/managing-mental-health-issues-workplace/
In summary, your staff are your greatest asset, and their wellbeing has a major impact on the overall success of your practice.
One of the most significant influences on the wellbeing of your staff is their mental health. Fortunately, mental health issues don’t have the stigma they once did, and recent initiatives have done a lot to get people thinking about how they can improve their own mental health and help others who may be struggling.
So, what can you do in your own workplace to help a staff member who needs support?
- Discuss the situation with the staff member, but before doing so be clear in your mind what you are concerned about.
- Work out what the practice can do to help? Remember your obligations under Health and Safety, if there is something going on the workplace that is exacerbating the problem, have you investigated any concerns? What support can the practice offer or what is it prepared to do?
- Ongoing support is often required and make sure that the employee has medical certification that they are fit to return to work, and you have a supportive return to work plan.
Our content has links to resources to help you and organisations that provide mental health support.
Managing underperformance when there is a mental health diagnosis, brings its own challenges and the bar to provide support and adjust processes to take into account the employees condition is high.
An Employment Court case where the employer was found not to have met its Health and Safety obligations is summarised at this link (once again log on first) https://www.healthypractice.co.nz/members/human-resources/discipline/case-study/
Other recent articles
25 August 2021
Hope you are all doing well in Level 4. Some subscribers will be operating under Level 4 conditions, others may have some staff working from home and others will be closed. The HealthyPractice team are working from home working from home. If you have questions, you can email us on email@example.com or call on 0800 800 627. The uncertainty of the situation will no doubt have you considering options, especially if the current lockdown is extended.
3 August 2021
We sometimes get queries about how to document agreed changes, or more difficult situations when: • a pattern of work has changed over the years that has not been formalised, or • there was an agreed change for a trial that has continued, and the employee now considers these their regular hours of work.
1 June 2021
We’re really pleased to welcome Bryce Pullan to the team as a Business Adviser, he will be working with us on Monday and Tuesday. Like all of the team Bryce has been with MAS for some time and is looking forward to supporting Members and their practices. Bryce joining us, has allowed Chris to achieve her dream of a four-day working week, Tuesday to Friday and Chris is very much enjoying her three-day weekends. Emailing us your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org generally means we can respond the same day especially if you send before midday. If your query is urgent just let us know in your email subject line or call 0800 800 627 and ask for the HealthyPractice team.
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