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Can an employee claim sick leave while she's on annual leave?

by , 15 July 2015
Your employee Vanessa took leave last month for two weeks. She set off to Greece for an extravagant and relaxing summer holiday. This came out of her annual leave.

Today, Vanessa returned to work. She told you she fell sick on the plane on her way to Greece. As a result, she was sick her entire holiday, and still is. She claims she couldn't enjoy it and spent most of the time in her hotel room on flu meds.

As a result of this, Vanessa now wants to claim sick leave for this time. She said she'd also accept you extending her annual leave. Is this allowed? Can she claim sick leave for when she was on annual leave because she was sick?

I have your answer - read on.

What to do if an employee falls sick during annual leave

If an employee falls sick during annual leave, she isn't entitled to additional pay or extra leave days.
So your answer: Vanessa can't claim for sick leave or extra leave days because she was sick while on holiday.
Explain to her that it's unfortunately not your problem that she fell sick while on annual leave. Here's a brief explanation to back this up…
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What the BCEA says about sick leave

Section 22(5)(a) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) provides that an employer must pay an employee for a day's sick leave the wage employee would've ordinarily received for work on that day.
As the employee is on leave, he or she wouldn't work that day. The employee therefore isn't entitled to sick leave.

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