Get Advice on Employment Law – Are You Entitled to Paid Leave?
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) stipulates the types of leave that you are entitled to as an employee. If you are unsure about your right to leave and paid leave issues, rather seek advice before you act on hearsay information.
Annual Leave Cycle Regulations
According to the BCEA, you are entitled to annual leave as an employee, provided that you have completed a year of uninterrupted service with the same employer. Accordingly, you have the right to paid annual leave of 21 consecutive days. Keep in mind that this period includes weekends. You can take the leave as 21 consecutive days or you can take leave at intermittent periods within the leave cycle. Seek advice on employment law to make sure that you understand the stipulations in your employment contract regarding your right to annual leave and when such must be taken.
Before you feel short-changed and consider taking your employer to the Labour Courts for non-compliance with the BCEA, seek advice on employment law, as various regulations apply. For one, the employer can by law give you one day of leave for every period of 17 days worked. The employer can also calculate the leave as one hour for every 17 hours that you have worked, if so agreed in your employment contract.
No Stipulation Regarding More Leave Days Based on Position
Although you may feel that you are entitled to more days of paid annual leave because of seniority in position, the truth is that the employment law doesn’t state anything about the entitlement to more leave days. Employment law does, however, allow for a reduction in your entitlement to annual leave for days you have taken off and for which you have received full pay during the annual leave cycle. Keep in mind that the employer must provide you with an additional leave day should your annual leave include a public holiday that falls on a day that you would normally have worked. We recommend seeking legal advice on the matter should the employer not want to grant the additional leave day.
When Is It Due?
You are entitled to your paid annual leave and the employer must grant such within six months from the last day of the annual leave cycle. Seek legal advice regarding the matter should your employer not fulfil the requirements as stipulated by the BCEA.
By law, you are not allowed to work for your employer while you are on annual leave. This means that you cannot take leave, get paid for it, and still work during the period. The employer cannot ask you to complete work during your annual leave.
You are entitled to annual leave pay that is the same amount as the remuneration that you normally receive for workdays equivalent to your annual leave days. The employer can pay your annual leave on your normal payday or at the start of your leave period. The only time that the employer can pay annual leave in lieu is when employment is terminated.
Make sure that you know which days are public holidays and whether any such days fall within your annual leave period. Seek legal advice on what to do should your employer not want to give you another day’s leave if a public holiday falls within your annual leave period and is a day you would normally have worked.
Many disputes arise between employers and employees about allowable leave days. Such disputes often occur because parties to the employment contract don’t agree on the meaning of the terms and conditions in the contract. It is best to seek legal advice on the matter, rather than act on what you believe to be the right interpretation of the wording.
Call us for employment law advice on 011 234 2125 regarding leave matters.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – January 2019.