Every worker looks forward to their annual leave, and South African workers are not excluded. After working for an extended period, everyone needs a well-deserved break to either bond with family or go on a vacation to unwind and come back powered up to handle the stress of working day in and day out. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) in South Africa specifies that the annual leave cycle of any employee is 12 months after their appointment date.
The Annual leave in South Africa is calculated by multiplying an employee’s regular working days by three weeks. Alternatively, you can calculate your annual leave by giving one day of leave for every 17 working days or an hour of leave for every 17 hours of work. The provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) in South Africa are only applicable to employees that work more than 24 hours per month. However, a worker is entitled to 21 days of paid leave every leave cycle.
How is Annual Leave Calculated in South Africa?
The minimum annual leave entitlement of a monthly worker in South Africa is calculated by multiplying the regular working days of the worker by three. For instance, if you work five days a week, the five days are multiplied by three weeks, i.e. five working days * 3 weeks = 15 days of annual leave. Alternatively, you can calculate it by giving one day of leave for every 17 working days or an hour of leave for every 17 hours of work.
A worker who is paid fortnightly and works four days a week is entitled to a minimum annual leave of 12 days, i.e. four working days * 3 weeks= 12 days of annual leave. A worker paid weekly but works six days a week is entitled to an annual leave of 18 days, i.e. six working days * 3 weeks=18 days of annual leave. Generally, every worker in South Africa is entitled to 21 days of paid annual leave in every leave cycle.
What does the Labor Law Say about Annual Leave?
The Labor law of South Africa has specified a lot about the annual leave entitlement in South Africa. The stipulations of the labour law do not apply to an annual leave given to a worker beyond the entitlement allowed in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).
The labour law also stipulates that annual leave not taken during a leave cycle is automatically carried over to the next leave cycle except if there is a separate agreement between the employer and employee. In this situation, the employee must take the carried-over annual leave within the first six months of the second leave cycle.
Regarding Sick leave, the labour law states that you can calculate sick leave as the number of regular working days multiplied by six weeks in every three-year leave cycle. It is a paid leave, and in most cases, the employer requires a medical report or certificate that serves as proof of illness. A worker is entitled to a day of sick absence from work every 26 regular working days.
For a worker who cannot work as a result of an occupational disease, then any period of absence is not deducted from the worker’s sick leave. A medical certificate is required in this condition as official proof of illness.
Regarding maternity leave, the labour law states that this kind of leave is unpaid leave granted to pregnant women for up to four months. The labour law specifies that absence from work for maternity leave should start four weeks before the expected date of delivery, and resumption is expected after six weeks after the birth of the child. A midwife or medical written consent must back up this provision in the case of any exceptions before it can be acceptable.
The labour law has also made provisions for family responsibility leave which is usually granted to an employee that has worked for more than four months and has more than four regular working days weekly for the same employer. The labour law states that a worker is entitled to three days of paid annual family responsibility leave. Domestic employees are, however, usually qualified for five days of family responsibility leave.
The Family responsibility leave cannot be carried over into the next leave cycle as the leave entitlement ends with the end of a leave cycle. This leave is only granted based on any of the following: the birth of a child, a sick child, or the death of a spouse, biological parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.
If you are wondering what the Labor law says about Study leave, you should know that there is no provision for it in the labour law. The Labor law in South Africa does not recognise Study leave as a leave entitlement. However, you can agree with your employer if you need to take some time off work for advanced studies. You would have to decide to take your annual leave days monthly or take an unpaid leave from work.
The Labor law does not support workers who take unpaid leave. It is only considered unpaid leave to state the employer’s entitlement when the leave has been exhausted. Your employer is entitled to not paying you for the number of days that you were off work.
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The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) supports Annual Leave in South Africa, which states that an annual leave cycle is 12 months after the employment date of an employee. The labour law also states that every worker is entitled to an annual leave of 21 days; however, you can calculate the actual days of an employee’s annual leave using three options.
Annual leave in South Africa can be calculated by multiplying the regular working days in a week by three weeks. It can also be estimated by giving one day of leave for every 17 working days or an hour of leave for every 17 hours of work. The Labor law is often updated, so as an employer, you must keep track of the changes and comply with them. I would like to know your thoughts about this piece. Please leave your comments or questions in the comments section below.