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Revealed: Five important facts about family responsibility leave and your legal obligations

by , 10 May 2013
Must you allow an employee to take family responsibility leave when one of her in-laws dies? Are you required by law to grant your employees study leave? What happens when one of your employees wants to take time off work to compete in a national sporting event? These are just some of the questions you grapple with when it comes to leave. Today we reveal the facts and your obligations when it comes to leave...

Quite often situations will arise in your workplace where your employees request family responsibility leave, perhaps when someone in their family has died or when one of their children is ill.

But, do you know who's actually is entitled to family responsibility leave and what your legal obligations are in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA)?

Five special facts about family responsibility leave

1. You're obliged as an employer to grant family responsibility leave in these circumstances:

  • When your employee's child is born
  • When your employee's child is sick
  • In the event of 'the death of your employee's spouse or life partner, your employee's parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling,' says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

2. While the BCEA doesn't specifically refer to in-laws under family responsibility leave, it's up to you to decide whether to grant family responsibility leave if one of your employee's in-laws dies.

3. Your employee can't claim family responsibility leave if her child minder is sick.

4. You only have to grant family responsibility leave to employees who work for you for at least four days a week. These 'employees are entitled to at least three days' family responsibility leave per leave cycle,' says the Loose Leaf. But, entitled to grant your employees more than these three days, either at your discretion, or in terms of what you've provided for in your employment contract, policies or in a collective agreement that applies to your business.

5. If family responsibility leave is to be granted to your employee, you must pay your employee the wage he would ordinarily have received for work on that day and on his usual pay day.

There you have it. Knowing all the facts about family responsibility leave will ensure you know your obligations.



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