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Stress leave

Is an employee entitled to stress leave?

While an employer may provide paid time off for employees if they suffer work related stress, it is not a specific legal requirement. If an employee is stressed in the workplace, they should first discuss this with their employer.

The Health and Safety in Employment Act places a positive obligation on employers to put systems in place to monitor the work environment and take all practicable steps to ensure that all hazards, including stress, do not cause employees physical or mental harm. Therefore open communication with your employer is essential.

An employer may choose to provide stress leave (as part of, or in addition to sick leave) to address an employee's experience of stress and to reduce potential hazards and/or injuries to an employee or their colleagues that may arise from stress. Specific entitlements are, however, a negotiable matter between the employer and the employee. This includes the length of leave, and whether this leave will be paid or unpaid.

Click here for more information on dealing with stress in the workplace.

Date Modified: Thursday, 18 June 2015

Disclaimer: The content on this website covers common problems. It will not answer every question and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.State sector employers and employees may be affected by some differences in the laws that apply to them (e.g. State Sector Act 1988).The Department of Labour takes no responsibility for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information on this website, nor for any errors or omissions.