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How to regulate excess annual leave and manage accumulated leave: General rules you need to know

by , 09 April 2015
There are two topics that share a common ground that we wanted to tackle today: Regulating excess annual leave and managing accumulated leave.

Read on to discover how to handle these two.

How do you regulate annual leave that's in excess of the statutory minimum?

Chapter 3 of the BCEA says the regulation for paid leave doesn't apply to leave granted to an employee that is in excess of the minimum leave entitlements contained in the BCEA. Therefore, the restrictions applying to annual leave, as contained in the BCEA, don't apply to the leave entitlements in excess of the statutory minimum (leave in excess of 15 working days). You are, therefore, entitled to regulate the manner in which the extra days' leave will be taken etc.

In other words, you could issue a policy that provides that leave in excess of the statutory 15 days will only be paid out and calculated at the basic salary rate, i.e. All benefits won't be included in the calculation.  

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But what about accumulated leave?

Let's move on to the topic of accumulated leave and let's remind you one of the most common questions in this aspect:

Are your employees allowed to accumulate leave they haven't taken and:

•  Take a longer holiday at another time?
•  Be paid out for the days they haven't taken?

Here's what you need to know:

•  You  must grant your employees annual leave not later than six months after the end of the annual leave cycle.

•  You may not pay your employees instead of granting paid leave except on termination of employment and if this payment is in accordance with Section 40(b) and (c) of the BCEA.

•  Annual leave must be taken according to an agreement between you and your employees or, if there is no agreement, at a time determined by you.

• An employee's employment is terminated and he has leave owing to him, you must pay an employee for annual leave the employee hasn't taken (Section 40 of the BCEA). The only condition is that your employee must be due the leave in terms of Section 20(2).  As outlined above, Section 20(2) simply requires you to grant your employees leave.

•  Although on termination an employee is to be paid out the leave that he hasn't taken, the leave must be taken within six months of the completion of a leave cycle (Section 20(4) of the BCEA)

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