During every sick leave cycle, the employee is entitled to paid sick leave equal to the number of days the agri-worker would normally work during a period of six weeks. During the first six months of work, however, the employee is entitled to one day’s sick leave for every 26 days worked. An employer is not obliged to pay the employee if they have been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during a period of eight weeks. This only applies if the employee is unable to provide a medical certificate at the request of the employer following their regular absence within this 8-week period.
In instances where it is not practical for an employee to obtain a medical certificate, payment cannot be withheld from that worker unless reasonable assistance to obtain a certificate has been provided by the employer. Employees can therefore utilise sick leave and produce a medical certificate after two consecutive days. Employers may record any trend which might result in the employee being absent for more than two occasions during an eight-week period, resulting in no payment. Employees should be urged not to abuse sick leave benefits and always notify the employer when they are sick.