How Is Annual Leave Calculated In South Africa (2023)

In the BCEA, it has been made known that a provides worker’s annual leave cycle is the 12 month period following his or her appointment date. It should however be noted that there are some employers in South Africa who have decided to just standardise this to ensure all their workers are on the same plane as far as the leave cycle. 

The about is not really the correct method if we should consider what the law states. Nevertheless, many don’t associate any problem with it as far as workers are not getting fewer leave days than the minimum entitlement they should get.

Now, talking about entitlement, we should note that as far as the law is concerned, annual leave is actually paid leave, plus a worker should by right get the same number of days that he or she would normally work in three weeks. 

How Is Annual Leave Calculated In South Africa

So, your minimum annual leave entitlement as a worker is calculated by multiplying your regular working days by three. For instance, let’s say you work five days a week. It means you are entitled to at least 15 days of annual leave each year.

It should however be added too that your boss may always grant you more leave than the act prescribes.

What Does Labour Law Say About Annual Leave

The labour law has stated a lot about annual leave and annual leave entitlement in South Africa. First, the provisions for annual leave is not applicable to workers in the country that works less than 24 hours per month, as well as leave was given to a worker in excess of the entitlement allowed in terms of the BCEA.

The labour law attested that annual leave not taken during an annual leave cycle by an employee is carried over automatically to the next annual leave cycle. This can however be altered if there is a different agreement between the employer and the employee.

As regards sick leave entitlement, the Act stated that it is the number of days that a worker in South Africa would normally work during a six week period, in every three-year cycle, calculated from the first day of employment. 

As for injury on duty and sick leave, according to labour law, If you as a  worker is unable to work as a result of an accident or maybe an occupational disease, then any period of absence is not taken from ordinarily sick leave. This is fair on the side of the employees. 

As touching maternity leave entitlement, this is actually for months unpaid leave and should start one month before the expected date of birth of the child. How about after the mother is eventually put to bed? The law supported that she may not return to work for six weeks after that. It should be noted that the periods may be varied upon written permission from either a doctor or even a midwife. It doesn’t stipulate at what stage of the pregnancy the pregnant woman is required to tell her boss about her pregnancy.

As touching family responsibility leave, the Act made it known that it is currently an allowance of 3 days on full pay each year. It should however be noted that if you as a worker failed to use the family responsibility leave during any 1 year, any part of the allowance left at the end of the year is forfeited (yes, the law permitted that this one shouldn’t be carried over to the next year). It should be noted that this leave can only be claimed by workers who have been in employment with the same firm for longer than 4 months, and who work more than 4 days per week. Also, you can use it when your child is born, if your child is sick, or maybe if the worker lost anyone close to them – such as their spouse, parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, sibling, etc. 

Regarding Unpaid leave, there is no support for a worker in South Africa to take unpaid leave. It was referred to only in terms of what the company is entitled to do when a worker’s sick leave or annual leave has been exhausted.

Finally, if you are wondering what the labour law said about Study Leave, you should realise that there is actually no such thing as study leave mentioned in it. Hence, if you need to leave your working place for some time just to study, inform your boss and see what can be generated.


What Is A Leave Cycle In South Africa

You should have heard about the “leave cycle” a lot of times already. Actually, this means a period of 12 months starting from the first day of employment (or starting from the end of the previous leave cycle). 

How Many Leave Days In South Africa

The answer to this is 21 consecutive days. As a worker, you are actually entitled to 21 consecutive days of annual leave on full pay in every leave cycle. 

What Happen If You Don’t Take Annual Leave In South Africa

Actually, there is no straightforward answer to this. You should therefore try to know what will be done in your own work and be familiar with similar cases. Nevertheless, you should know that there are views that statutory annual leave not taken by a worker in South Africa is never forfeited and may be carried over to subsequent annual leave cycles.

Annual Leave Calculator South Africa

Actually, there are different tools you can take advantage of to calculate your annual leave. Here is one

Forfeiture Of Annual Leave South Africa – Can Annual Leave Expire South Africa

As stated earlier, it has been made known from some quarters that statutory annual leave not taken by a worker in the country is never forfeited. It has been said that such may be carried over to subsequent annual leave cycles. Nevertheless, you should also know that it was stated that non-statutory annual leave (that is, leave given in excess of the minimum statutory leave) can be forfeited.

What Happen If I Don’t Take My Annual Leave In South Africa

You can push for your statutory leave to fall into the next cycle. It is important to present your case to your employers with courtesy. Then something can come up after the agreement have been made – based on mutual mature agreement (as both of you are in a team).


DISCLAIMER: It should be noted that this article here is just for general informational purposes. It does not deal with individual circumstances. Hence, you are advised to not substitute this for expert advice or help at all. It is necessary to take note of this.