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Consider these five points to ensure your leave policy includes EVERY leave issue

by , 05 September 2013
Your leave policy must clearly explain your rules and regulations about leave entitlements. This will ensure your employees know what the rules are and that your managers have a guideline to follow when administering leave. Here are some important factors to consider before you draft your leave policy.

Want to develop watertight leave policy for your company?

Make sure you consider these five factors.

Drawing up a leave policy? Keep these five factors in mind

#1: According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, you must grant leave not later than six months after the end of the annual leave cycle (12-month period from the date of employment).

While you must approve annual leave, you're not obliged to do so every time your employee asks for annual leave.

Both you and your employee must agree when leave can be taken. If you can't agree, you must make the final decision.

Remember to include reasons why you'll decline leave in your policy. For instance, say 'management reserves the right to refuse any request for annual leave and leave is granted at the discretion of the employer.'

If you know there are times when you won't grant leave, such as high volume times, peak production times, high consumer demand times or financial year end, make sure you say this in your leave policy.

Make sure that your managers apply this rule consistently.

#2: You can only pay out leave days when your employee resigns, you dismiss him, you retrench him, he dies or he retires.

Please note that this only applies to the legal annual leave entitlement of 21 consecutive days (15 working days).

You're not legally entitled to pay out any other annual leave days you give your employees over and above this.

Make sure your leave policy clearly explains how you'll treat any additional leave days they receive.

#3: Make sure your policy complies with labour laws. Also ensure the conditions are reasonable and that you can legally enforce them.

#4: It's illegal to require or allow your employee to do any work while on leave, whether annual leave, sick leave, family responsibility leave, unpaid leave or maternity leave.

You also can't ask your employees to be on standby during any period of leave.

#5: If your employee falls ill during his annual leave and produces a valid medical certificate to prove the sick days, you must convert those days to sick leave.

Credit your employee's annual leave entitlement with the number of days covered by the medical certificate.

Take these factors into account to ensure your leave policy is effective and complies with labour law.

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