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Can I grant an employee his accumulated leave at the end of the leave cycle?

by , 02 March 2015
All employees are entitled to annual leave (Basic Conditions of Employment Act).

The minimum amount of leave is 15 working days per annum or 21 consecutive days for an employee who works five days on full pay.

Now let's say at the end of a leave cycle, one of your employees hasn't taken his leave at all. He then decides to take his full 15 working days leave he's accumulated for that year.

Should you grant him the annual leave days?

Keep reading below to find out...

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Can you grant an employee his accumulated leave at the end of the leave cycle?

The answer is yes! Let me tell you why…

At the end of a leave cycle or 12-month period, the employee can request the full 15 working days' leave, or 21 consecutive days which he's accumulated for that leave cycle.

You must grant this request, within reasonable operational constraints, because the employee is entitled to the leave (Section 20(4) of the BCEA).

If you don't grant the employee his leave, it will be unfair labour practice. And he can take you to the CCMA.

If you refuse to grant him his accumulated leave, you have to justify it in terms of operational requirements. You will still need to arrange alternative times for the leave to be taken, within the legal timeframes.

If the employee doesn't take his annual leave by the end of a leave cycle, and applies for his leave after the end of the leave cycle, you have no option but to grant the request.

You're responsible to make sure your employees go on leave within the allotted, defined timeframes.

Turn to chapter L09: Annual leave of your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management to find out everything you need to know about managing leave in your company. If you don't have a copy yet, click here

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