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Annual leave: What are your legal requirements

by , 13 March 2015
According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, there are three possible situations based on which employees can have paid annual leave. Employees are entitled to:

- at least 21 consecutive calendar days of paid annual leave for one worked year; or
- by agreement, one day of leave for every 17 days worked; or
- one hour for every 17 hours worked.

According to the law, you mustn't count a public holiday as a day's annual leave if it falls on a day he's on annual leave. The law also states that, as employer, you aren't allowed to require or permit your employees to work during any period of annual leave. The payment for the employee's leave can't be less than the remuneration he would've received for working for a period equal to the period of annual leave. And the payment has to be made before the actual beginning of the period of leave, or, by agreement, on the employee's usual pay day. (Section 20-21).
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What about the public holiday?
Workers are entitled to paid holidays during the public holidays and religious holidays (ofChristian origin), according to Public Holidays Act, 1994 amended in 1995. For 2015, there are 12,  these days are
  • January 01 - New Year's Day
  • March 21 - Human Rights Day
  • April 03 - Good Friday
  • April 05 - Family Day / Easter Monday
  • April 27 - Freedom Day
  • May 01 - Workers Day
  • June 16 - Youth Day
  • August 09 - National Women's Day
  • September 24 - Heritage Day
  • December 16 - Reconciliation Day
  • December 25 - Christmas Day
  • December 26 - Day of Goodwill

In terms of weekly rest days, the law states that workers are entitled to 36 consecutive hours of rest per week, which must include Sundays, unless otherwise agreed. (Section 15.1)

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