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Can your employee take all his sick leave or must it be pro-rated?

by , 12 February 2014
One of the common questions regarding sick leave is: Can an employee take all his sick leave or must it be pro-rated? Read on to find out what labour law says about this.

The answer to this leave question is as follows:

'Your employee is allowed to take his full sick leave allowance at the beginning of the sick leave cycle – that is, it's not pro-rated over a period of time,' says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

For example, let's say your employee gets seriously ill and takes 30 days' sick leave in the first month of the sick leave cycle.

If he does this, it means he won't be entitled to any more paid sick leave for the remainder of the sick leave cycle. Further sick leave will be unpaid unless agreed otherwise in terms of the employment contract, a policy or a collective agreement.

Keep in mind that sick leave doesn't accumulate. If your employee hasn't used up his sick leave at the end of the sick leave cycle it will be forfeited.

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In 2014 you will contribute to R19 billion spent in sick leave
 
Sounds impossible, I know. I didn't believe it either. But R19 billion is what sick leave costs South African companies a year. This is equal to the amount medical aids paid to suppliers in 2010.
 
And did you know R57million of that is from employees taking 'sick days' off purely because they just didn't feel like coming in to work?
 
Stop your employees abusing sick leave today! Our experts will show you how…

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Here are the important points to remember regarding sick leave

During your employee's first six months of employment, he's entitled to one day's paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.

After that, your employee's entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days he would normally work during a period of six weeks during a 36 month cycle – also called 'the sick leave cycle'.

You don't have to pay your employee for sick leave if he's been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period and, on your request, doesn't produce a medical certificate.

Knowing what labour law says bout sick leave will help ensure you're in line with the law.

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