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Taking unpaid leave

You can take unpaid leave if your employer agrees to it. The agreement should be recorded in writing.

If you’re affected by COVID-19, Employment New Zealand has guidance on work-related issues:

Unpaid leave for annual closedowns

If your employer has an annual closedown and you do not have enough annual holidays, you may have to take unpaid leave.

Annual closedowns — Employment New Zealand

Taking more than a week of unpaid leave

If you take more than a week of unpaid leave over the year:

  • your anniversary date for entitlement to annual holidays moves out by the amount of unpaid leave you take, or
  • you can agree with your employer that your anniversary date for annual holidays entitlement will not change — in this case, your employer reduces the number of weeks used to calculate your average weekly earnings for annual holiday pay by the number of weeks and part weeks, greater than 1 week, that you were on leave without pay.

For more information and example scenarios visit the Employment New Zealand website:

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