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When should you take LEAVE at Work? What the BCEA say about Leave.


LEAVE[SS 19-27]


The Basic Conditions Of Employment Act covers basic requirements of each leave. There are approximately 4 types of leave [breaks] you need to know the backgrounds off, what they are and how or they should be allocated. 

Sick Leave

Found on section 22-24. ultimately based on a 3 year cycle and and its a full pay leave. 

An employee is entitled to the full complement of sick leave at any time during the leave cycle, provided the first six months of employment have been completed. 

An employee is also entitled to a number of days paid sick leave equal to the number of days he would work normally work in a period of six weeks per week.

During the first six months of employment the employee is limited to one day’s paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.

A medical certificate must be produced after 2 days of absence. If an employee is absent on more than two occasions in an eight week period, a medical certificate is required for any number of days’ absence including for one day. If no proof of illness is submitted, the employer may is not obliged to pay the employee. An employer is required to assist an employee who lives on the employers premises to obtain a medical certificate.

Provisions relating to sick leave are not applicable to an employee whose inability to work was caused by an accident or occupational disease as defined in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act or the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act, unless compensation is not paid to the employee in terms of these Acts.

Annual Leave

Annual leave, governed by sections 20 snd 21 of the Act. It is full paying is calculated over a 12 month cycle.

A minimum of 21 consecutive days leave per year

Leave is extended by one day for every public holiday which falls within the leave period.

The parties may conclude an agreement which provides for leave of at least one day for every 17 days of completed work or one hour for every 17 hours worked.

The leave may not run concurrently with a period of notice to terminate services or any period of leave the employee is entitled to, except during a period of unpaid leave. This means the leave may not run concurrently with a period of paid sick leave, maternity leave or family responsibility leave that the employee is entitled to. 

Remuneration in respect of leave must be paid to the employee on the last day of work before the leave period commences or, by agreement, on the usual pay day.

Maternity Leave

Is regulated by sections 25 and 26 of the Act.

A pregnant employee is entitled to four consecutive months’ of maternity leave.

Leave commences at any time from 4 weeks before the expected date of confinement or on a date necessitated by the employee’s health or that of her unborn child as certified by GP or Medical practitioner.

An employee may not work for 6 weeks after the birth of her child, unless a medical practitioner or midwife certifies that she is fit to do so.

An employee who has had a miscarriage during the third trimester or bears a stillborn is still entitled to maternity leave for about 6 weeks after both the miscarriage or stillbirth unless unable to do so, the employee is required to notify her employer four weeks in advance and in writing of the intended date of commencement of maternity leave and the return date to work.

Th BCEA may does not prescribe payment for maternity leave, meaning maternity leave is unpaid leave however, an employee is entitled to claim maternity benefits in terms of Unemployment insurance Act. It is possible though that she may conclude an agreement with her employer to provide for payment or a union can through collective bargaining, conclude a collective that provides for a paid maternity.

An employer may not allow or require a pregnant employee or one who is nursing a baby to perform hazardous work to her health or that of a child. where practicable alternative employment is to be offered to the employee during her pregnancy and for six months thereafter at conditions not less favourable than her normal conditions of employment.


section 27 of the Act.

  • Employee is entitled to three days’ paid leave per annual leave cycle for the birth, illness or death of a spouse, life partner, grandparent. grandchild or sibling.
  • Before paying an employee for family responsibility leave, the employer may require proof of the event for which leave was sought.
  • Unused days do not accrue
  • Only employees who work for four days or more per week are entitled to this leave and they become so entitled once the first four months of employment have been completed.

In conclusion

Chapter 4 of the act as whole does not apply to an employee who works less than 24 hours per month for an employer. employer who employs fewer than 5 employees are exempt from some of the provisions of Chapter 4.

Content created and supplied by: PriahWrites (via Opera News )

BCEA Basic Conditions Of Employment Act EMPLOYMENT Leave


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