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Nine essential facts you should know about family responsibility leave

by , 17 March 2015
Information is key. If you want to be a successful employer, you need to stay updated when it comes to things employment equity, employment contracts and any legal aspects regarding leave.

That's why today, we're sharing nine facts you should know about family responsibility leave:

The most important things you need to know about family responsibility leave

1. First of all, you need to know what your family responsibility leave (FRL) obligations are. According to labour law, you must give three days' paid family responsibility leave in each annual leave cycle to employees who qualify for it.

2. Know that only certain employees qualify for FRL. Your employee must have worked for you for more than four months and must work for at least four days per week.

3. You must only give FRL in these two situations.

a). The birth, illness or death of the employee's child; and
b). The death of your employee's parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.

Any other circumstance you don't have to give FRL for. For example, if your employee's nanny is off sick.

4. You can't decrease FRL leave entitlement. In other words, you can't reduce the number of days FRL you give your employee. However, note that in some cases it's actually not necessary for an employee to take all three days during his leave cycle. For example, when he needs to take his child to the doctor once and nothing else that fits into the requirements above happens, he'll only take one day. And he'll still have two days left in his leave cycle.

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Not everyone is entitled to family responsibility leave...

You probably know your employees are allowed three days paid family responsibility leave a year. But did you know you only have to give this to employees who've been working for you for a certain number of days a week and months? Anyone working for you for less than this isn't entitled to these three days.

And then of course, there's the infamous 'my nanny's off sick so I need to stay home and look after little Johnny'.

But did you know, you don't have to give time off for this? In fact, there are only three instances when you have to give family responsibility leave.

So when must you grant family responsibility leave? Click here to get your hands on Your Guide to Family Responsibility Leave.

We'll give you everything you need to know about it, answer all your questions. Find out here…


5. You can increase the FRL entitlement. If you have a trade union, it might negotiate extra days' leave in terms of a collective agreement. You will then have to give your employees the extra days.

6. You must pay your employee his normal wage while on FRL. You must pay your employee the same wage for a day's FRL as you'd normally pay him for a day's work.

7. Your employee doesn't have to take a full day of leave. He can take a whole or part of a day for FRL. You must still give him this leave over and above his annual leave. It doesn't form part of annual leave calculations.

8. You can ask for proof of an event. You can insist on reasonable proof of an event when you give FRL. For example, if your employee asks for time off to take her child to the doctor, you can ask for a medical certificate to prove her child was ill.

9. FRL doesn't accumulate. FRL lapses if your employee doesn't take it during his annual leave cycle. He can't carry it over to the next cycle. If he only takes one day in the leave cycle, this doesn't mean he gets three days plus carry-over the two. He only has three days for the new cycle.

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