The widely publicised email conversation between US employee Madalyn Parker and her chief executive regarding her very open statement that she was taking time off work to focus on her mental health and his response that completely legitimised her reason and applauded her forthright approach throws into question how this situation would be viewed in New Zealand.
There is growing recognition that a number of New Zealanders suffer mental illnesses. What isn’t certain is how individual New Zealand employers interpret the Holidays Act when it comes to their employees seeking leave for a mental health related issue. As the Act doesn’t define ‘sickness’ it is left to individual employers to decide if employees qualify. In New Zealand the Courts have played a role in interpretation when employer decisions have been challenged.
To read New Zealand Employment lawyer Peter Cullen’s opinion piece on Stuff click here
To read Madelyn Parker’s email exchange click here