Why 10 days sick pay is an empty promise to many workers


The middle class unions are demanding the low hanging fruit of 10 days sick pay, which is fine and dandy if you are with a Union or employed, it means jack shit if you are the almost 20% of NZ who are self employed.

For contractors, if you don’t work you don’t get paid.

The Government have put in place a Covid sickness programme but again that is focused on employees and their employers.

Wouldn’t a better solution be 10 sick days PLUS ACC pays any contractor sick leave for an equal amount of time until a vaccine is available and creates herd immunity?

That way workers AND contractors would have necessary safety valves to use if there are outbreaks between now and the end of 2022 when it is expected to have widespread herd immunity?

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  1. Contractors should be treated the same as employees in law with the same rights if they are in work over 20 hours per week at the same place of work for longer periods of time – aka over 6 months.

  2. The unions need to advocate for Pandemic/environmental disasters special circumstances leave for all workers effected. If employers can’t afford this then perhaps the government can help in some way. After all we are living in unprecedented times.

  3. NZ no longer has employees or minimum standards for employers and workers.

    Waikato bar removes $12 an hour job listing after online backlash

    instead they allow blatant excuses aka AKA the ‘volunteer’ job at $12 p/h – yeah right!

    Much more important for Labour to make all workers be on minimum wages and give contractors the same rights as employees if they are working at the same place for a long time.

  4. As a self employed sub contractor, getting ACC to pay out for anything, is like getting a Vampire to donate blood. Good luck with that.

    • V.good point. ACC has been on a par with WINZ/MSD for decades now in terms of using a “punishment/bugger off“ model rather than a “how can we help” service model. Pre existing condition and second opinions are such private sector techniques to reduce payouts and assistance.

      But nonetheless there needs to be a way to include self employed and contractors in some form of sick leave/COVID payments for the sake of public health.

  5. A neat illustration of one of the difficulties faced by WINZ clients who case managers may appear to set up as self-employed taxi-divers, cleaners, gardeners, home helps etc with the contractors not always aware of the implications.

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