Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
We will look at what legislation says about the different categories of leave and also at the relevant stipulations. The leave discussed here, are the minimum requirements laid down by law.
This legislation regarding leave is based on the Basic Conditions of Service Amendment Act (Act 75 of 1997).
Employees are entitled to 21 consecutive days of annual leave or, by agreement, one day for every 17 days worked or one hour for every 17 hours worked. Should there be unused leave from the previous cycle, such leave can be taken during the first 6 months of the new cycle. Public holidays are not regarded as leave. Annual leave applies to employees who work more than 24 hours a month for an employer.
Maternity leave applies only to female employees. Legally a pregnant employee is entitled to four (4) consecutive months of maternity leave. The employee must advise the employer in writing of the date on which she intends going on maternity leave. An employee may not work for six weeks after the birth. A pregnant woman or a breastfeeding woman may not do work that endangers her or her child’s lives.
Fulltime employees are (by request) entitled to three days family responsibility leave per year. If an employee has worked for the same employer for longer than 4 months and more than 4 days a week for the employer concerned, the employee may take 3 days paid family responsibility leave per leave cycle. This includes when the employee’s child is born or is sick, or in the event of the death of the employee’s spouse or life partner or the employee’s parent, adopted parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or brother or sister. Because this is by request, the employer has the right to require reasonable proof of this. Paternity leave falls under the family responsibility leave and the employee may therefore by request be given 23 days paid leave.
An employee is entitled to 6 weeks paid sick leave calculated over a period of 36 months. During the first 6 months after employment the employee is entitled to 1 day’s paid sick leave for every 26 days worked. An employer may require a medical certificate from an employee who was absent for more than two consecutive days or from someone who is often absent.
Study leave differs from company to company. There is no specific legislation that stipulates how many days’ study leave may be taken. Companies have their own policies regarding this matter.
In some instances companies offer employees more advantageous circumstances. Make sure of the facts in such cases.
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