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Know these five facts when it comes to family responsibility leave

by , 30 September 2015
According to Section 27(2) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), family responsibility leave is leave you have to give when:

· An employee's child is born;
· When your employee's child is sick; or when
· An employee's life partner, spouse, parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adoptive child, sibling or grandchild passes on.

On top of that, and in accordance with Section 27(1) of the BCEA, family responsibility is granted to employees who have been working for you for longer than four months and who work at least four days a week. Such employees are allowed three days paid family responsibility leave during any leave cycle.

Having said that, here are five facts around family responsibility leave that you should know:


The BCEA doesn't refer specifically to in-laws when it comes to family responsibility leave. So it'll be up to you to grant family responsibility leave to an employee whose in-law/s have passed away.


An employee CAN'T claim any family responsibility leave because an employee's child sitter is sick.

'My husband's sister's boyfriend's mother's uncle just passed away and I need to go to the funeral'

If you've granted family responsibility leave in any of these circumstances, you're just like most managers I know. But, here's what you don't know...


Unused family responsibility leave falls away if it isn't used in the current leave cycle. In other words, an employee can't accumulate family
responsibility leave.


If family responsibility leave is granted, you must pay the employee:

·         The normal wage that the employee would have received on that day; and
·         On the employee's normal pay day.


You may, at your discretion, grant more than three days' paid family responsibility leave. This could be in your employment contracts, policies or in a collective agreement that applies to your business.
Note that before paying an employee for family responsibility leave, you may request reasonable proof of the event that family responsibility leave is being given for. For example, if it's a death, it could be in the form of a death certificate.

So, there are five facts to keep in mind when it comes to family responsibility leave.

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