Annual leave South Africa facts: Everything you need to know about annual leave

Annual leave South Africa facts: Everything you need to know about annual leave

All employees in South Africa are entitled to a few rest days which come in the form of annual leave South Africa. These days are provisions of the law and every employer must adhere to them. On the other hand, workers need to familiarize themselves with the laws to protect themselves against any injustice.

annual leave south africa
Source: UGC

In line with this, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act leave (BCEA) stipulates that employees need annual leave. This follows the date of appointment as guided by the annual leave policy. The SimplePay uses employment date of each employee to ascertain their cycle.

For uniformity, employers need a standardized format for all workers. Workers should receive exact amounts of leave days per year as provided for in the guide. This implies that they need to have a plan that allows each employed person to get a few days off. The formula used for one worker should be exactly the same as for his or her co-worker. The only thing is that the time when each person goes off will differ.

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Understanding the details

Annual leave is not a new formation which explains its continued existence. However, it applies only to working or employed individuals in Mzansi. They are then deduced by taking workers' working days in a three-weeks-cycle as long as they were active in that month. Mathematically, the least possible annual leave awarded is arrived at by increasing normal working days in a month by the three.

Even so, an employer can decide to extend the time for his or her workers. In addition to that, the possibility of a worker accruing these period also exists. It mostly happens in cases of paid leave and the best examples would be for those that have to do with maternity or even terminal illness. To know the exact amount of time you are owed, divide the pay duration within one year by the days owed.

Annual policy

Every employer in South Africa needs to have this policy within reach. This is because the document keeps a tab of all rules and details.

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For instance, the employer and employee must be conversant with basic facts. One such rule is the aspect of all South African employees qualifying for 21 consecutive days throughout their cycle.

This translates to 15 working days annually (of workers working 5 days a week). Those who work 6-days a week get 18 days in a year. Even so, public holidays are not included in the leave days in South Africa calculation.

What happens when employers close shop?

basic conditions of employment act leave
Source: UGC

In line with the expected annual shutdown season in December, workers must have accumulated enough leave days to cater for this period. In case they went earlier in the year, then the annual shutdown season is regarded as unpaid leave.

You can only apply for it based on an already existing employee-employer agreement. If there is no agreement, the break is taken at the employer discretion. This implies that the employer qualifies for the policy that dictates the shutdown period, and all the workers are supposed to take a break during the shutdown period.

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Payment and accumulation of days

Employees must receive their payment in full even when they are away. In case a worker decides to quit, he or she must be compensated for all the accumulated days. However, the rate of payment may not be the same as he or she would be paid in a day. Leave pay rules must be followed strictly.

If the days for any particular worker have accumulated, they are entitled to take claim all of it anytime in the cycle. There are times when the accumulation is carried forward to the next annual cycle. For such, the employee can demand for the days from before and the employer is not in any position to deny them.

Labour law leave

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This law serves as a guideline for both the employer and the worker. The information provided within this Act plays a big role in making the right decisions within the policy rules and regulations. Whatever is decided is binding to both parties.

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Unpaid leave

extended sick leave policy in south africa
Source: UGC

According to the BCEA leave, employees are not directed or granted unpaid leave. This is only a provision that is made available by the Act. As such, it guides the employer on what to do if the employee’s annual or the sick leave is exhausted and there is a need to take more.

If the employer is compelled to give the worker the said break without pay, then it has to be done within the confines of the unpaid leave policy. Note that the worker has no mandate to demand such excesses.

Sick leave in South Africa

Labor law leave Department of South Africa has set numbered days of sick leave and the formula which is calculated as described below:

  • The sick days are equivalent to the days an individual is supposed to work in six weeks which is 30 days and this is the total of the amount available to be used for more than three years.
  • The complete sum of the amount is availed after being employed for 6 months, and therefore before that, an individual accrues only sick breaks for one day within the 26 working days.
  • If the sick days are taken within six months, this will be removed from the normal 30 days in 3 years or more.

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The moment the employee consumes all available sick breaks in the 8th month within the cycle, the employee has zero days left. The next ones will be available when the following cycle begins. Let’s say this employee uses all of the sick breaks within 8 months, then ends up resigning in the 9th month, the employer will be incapacitated to claim any of the days back.

Exceptions to note include:

All workers are called upon to be compliant with sick leave per year in South Africa.

When the worker cannot work due to certain disease explained under Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, the days that this employee will be absent will not be deducted from the normal sick break, unless they are compensated according to the Act.

There is an extended sick leave policy in South Africa that will give guidance if the worker requires the leave extension.

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Workers are discouraged from taking up the unpaid sick leave South Africa, no section within the BCEA leave that caters for it.

Study leave policy

This policy is not in the labour law. For such requests, workers must follow the procedure of applying for a paid annual leave based on his or her employer's regulations.

The essence of the annual leave South Africa policy is to ensure that everyone's rights are respected. Sometimes workers tend to suffer in the hands of uncaring employers. Knowing that the law is on your side can come in handy whenever you need to defend yourself legally.


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Source: Briefly News

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