The BCEA has taken care of the various types of leave in South African workers are entitled to. Either we are talking about paternity leave or sick leave, or the several others that can be claimed by eligible workers, one thing which they usually have in common is that workers will still be paid even when they embarked on them. Hence, the Act did not really provide specifically for a set entitlement to unpaid leave South Africa.
How Does Unpaid Leave Work In South Africa
Therefore, as a worker in South Africa, you don’t have to normally ask to be allowed to take unpaid days off. Nevertheless, in a situation where you have used all your paid annual leave or sick leave entitlements, you can then go ahead. But it should be noted that it is entirely at your boss’s discretion whether or not they are willing to grant you an unpaid leave. In this case, your boss is the boss over the situation, as against in circumstances where the law empowered you as a worker to claim your paid leave (like family responsibility leave, sick leave, paternity leave, etc).
Now, if unpaid leave is allowed by your employer, you should be aware that the calculation is based on the average number of working days per period. That is, your boss has the right not to pay you for the number of days you will be out of work. Let’s say you are a monthly paid worker that works 5 days a week, your salary would be divided by 21.67* to get the amount that would be deducted for each day you are out of work.
Can An Employer Refuse Unpaid Leave South Africa
In the case of unpaid leave, it is left to the employer if he will allow it or not at a particular period of time, as several factors have to be considered. Imagine it is a time when your boss really needs you around for the well-being of the organization, and you want to be unavailable, without any appropriate replacement put in place. So, there may be times when the employer may want to refuse your unpaid leave for one reason or the other. He is not really under compulsion to give you the unpaid leave.
We should also add that employers are also humans, and they too understand how some things can come up. So, it is necessary to try to present your cases in a way they can easily understand and relate, and it will be easy to get what you want (who knows, your boss might even decide to not deduct anything from your salary for the number of days you will spend away from work). Having a good and healthy relationship with your employers is usually beneficial, and in cases like this, they can easily help out
Nevertheless, when it comes to paid leave (like family responsibility leave, sick leave, etc), the employer doesn’t have any right to refuse such, as all South African workers are entitled to them, backed by the law. Of course, you have to be ready to give them reasonable proof that you really need the leave you are demanding at the time, and it is recommended that you bring up a notification much earlier before then.
How Is Unpaid Leave Calculated
As stated already, your boss can decide to give you an unpaid leave when you have need of it, or he can also choose not to. Nevertheless, if your employer is granting you an unpaid leave, you must know that it is different from paid leaves, where you will still be paid for not being at work. For unpaid leave, your employers can actually deduct from your salary the number of days you won’t be around.
In such a case, it is necessary to know the calculation of amount that will be calculated, so you won’t be in darkness over such things as these. You should know that it is based on the average number of working days per period. Let’s say you are a monthly paid worker that works 5 days a week, your salary is actually going to be divided by 21.67* to get the amount that would be deducted for each day you are not at work while on your unpaid leave.
How Many Days Unpaid Leave Is An Employee Entitled To In South Africa
While you as a worker in South Africa have a right to 21 consecutive days annual leave on full pay in every leave cycle, there is nothing specific for unpaid leave. Already, the Act that empowers workers for things like paid leave didn’t focus much on unpaid leave (which is logical). So, how many days you can claim for your unpaid leave, is actually dependent on what your boss is going to allow. If you tell him you need a week off and he is cool with it, of course, you have a week (don’t forget they will likely deduct it from your salary). If you say you want ten days or three days off, and your employers are cool with it, then you get it. The bottom line is, this one isn’t fixed.
Nevertheless, as you are expected to be aware of as a worker in South Africa (which is something that has been stated already), you are entitled to 21 consecutive days annual leave on full pay in every leave cycle. If you work five days each week, you will get 15 working days per year. If you work six days a week, you get 18 working days per year. Knowing things like these as an employer will help you in several important ways, as knowledge indeed is power.
- Paternity Leave South Africa
- Sick Leave South Africa
- How Does Family Responsibility Leave Work In South Africa
That’s all about Unpaid Leave South Africa.
DISCLAIMER: It must be noted that this article is meant only for general informational purposes. It may not really address individual circumstances, and thus, is not an alternative for expert view, advice, or help. Therefore, we are admonishing that you should not rely on this to make important decisions of any kind.