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No, you can't have family responsibility leave because your nanny is off sick!

by , 29 October 2013
I'm sure you've had at least one of these situations before... John's taken another day of family responsibility leave (FRL). You know both his grandfathers passed away last year so how can he be going to his funeral again? Michelle asks for FRL because her nanny's off sick and there's no one to look after her child.

Let's look at the rules about family responsibility leave and when you have to say 'yes' and 'no' to family responsibility leave...


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Three instances when you have to grant family responsibility leave

You must give family responsibility leave when your employee's:
•       Child is born – for the father;
•       Child is sick;
•       In the event of the death of your employee's:
o    Spouse or life partner;
o    Parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.
There are times when you can't decide if the leave fits the above criteria, so to make it easier for you, here are three common instances you don't have to give FRL… 


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Sounds impossible, I know. I didn't believe it either. But R19 billion is what sick leave costs South African companies a year. This is equal to the amount medical aids paid to suppliers in 2010.

And did you know R57million of that is from employees taking 'sick days' off purely because they just didn't feel like coming in to work?

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Three situations when you don't have to give family responsibility leave

1.   The Basic Conditions of Employment Act doesn't refer to in-laws under family responsibility leave. So, you can decide if you'll give FRL if one of your employee's in-laws dies. Just remember to be consistent when you apply your decision.
2.   You don't have to give FRL if your employee's child minder is sick.
3.   You don't have to give FRL to employees who work for you for less than four days a week.

The best way to make sure your employees know when they can and can't take family responsibility leave is to implement a FRL Policy. Turn to chapter L14: Family Responsibility Leave Policy in your Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf to get your sample policy. Still not a subscriber? Click here.

Until next time,
Taryn Strugnell

P.S Have a question about when to give Family Responsibility Leave?  Simply sign up to www.labourandhrclub.co.za to ask your question today!

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