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Make sure your family responsibility leave policy is clear before your employees 'pull a Gary Kirsten' on you

by , 13 May 2013
The local media industry's been spinning with news that Gary Kirsten's decided to end his time as South African cricket coach. Citing family responsibility as a reason to stay away from work is even being called 'pulling a Gary Kirsten'. Because while he led the team to number one in the Test rankings, time away from his family is starting to take its toll, with Kirsten saying, "Last year, I had 250 days away from... my home. I believe my absentia as a father is compromising my responsibilities to my family.' Here's what to do if your employees start asking for more time off for family responsibility...

 
Gary Kirsten was appointed as coach of the South African cricket team in 2011. Now, two years later, he's resigned from the position as he wants to spend more time with his family, which includes three children under the age of 10, says ESPNCricInfo.
 
Especially as he's just spend five weeks at home with his family, enjoying quality time with his children.
 
That's understandable, as family is the top priority for most people.
 
But what do you do if your employees take this to heart and start asking for more and more time off as 'family responsibility leave'?
 
What counts as family responsibility leave?
 
Your first step is to clarify exactly what counts as family responsibility leave, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
 
It usually only applies to life and death situations like the funeral of the employee's close relatives.
 
That's not each cousin and aunt your employee's probably never met – it's limited to their spouse or life partner, child, parent, grandparent, sibling or adoptive family member, says FSP Business.
 
Here's how much family responsibility leave to grant…
 
Then, by law, you only have to grant three days' family responsibility leave per leave cycle to employees who work for you for at least four days a week. 
 
But you can grant your employees more than these three days either at your discretion, so it's a good idea to mention that your company grants family responsibility leave at management's discretion as per the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
 
Then, make this policy clear by getting your employees to sign that they've read through the policy – it should greatly simplify communications when next an employee asks to put in for a few days' family responsibility leave!

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