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Must you count public holidays as part of your employees' annual leave entitlement?

by , 15 April 2015
Today we'll discuss an important aspect regarding leave calculation when there is a holiday. We'll take a look at the right procedure to follow when your employees take days off for public holidays.

Here's what you should know about public holidays as part of annual leave entitlement...

First of all, keep in mind that Chapter Three of the BCEA (which deals with all types of leave) doesn't apply to:

• Your employees who work for less than 24 hours per month
• Leave granted to your employees that is in excess of the minimum entitlement granted to your employees in terms of the BCEA. For example, if your employees are entitled to 30 days' leave per annum, Chapter Three of the BCEA doesn't apply to the 15 days in excess of the statutory minimum.

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When it comes to leave calculation, let's look at the following example:

If one of your permanent employees works for you for five days per week, eight hours per day, you must grant this employee at least 15 days' annual leave on full remuneration. However, if one of your employees works for one or two days per week, then, by agreement, you may grant this employee one day's leave for every 17 days worked.

As for counting public holidays as part of annual leave entitlement, here's what you should know:

You must also grant your employees an additional day of paid annual leave if a public holiday falls on a day during an employee's annual leave and if the employee would ordinarily have worked on that day.

Let's see the following example

If Jane has taken leave from 20 to 30 December, she must be allocated an additional two days' annual leave as 25 and 26 December are public holidays – in other words, 25 and 26 will not be included in the annual calculation. Remember: This rule will only apply if Jane works five days per week and 25 and 26 December fall on a week day in the calendar. Therefore, if 25 December were a Saturday, Jane wouldn't be granted an extra day's leave.

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