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Should you pay your employee if he runs out of sick leave and falls ill? Everything you need to know about unpaid leave

by , 09 March 2015
Have you ever encountered a situation where your employee runs out of sick leave and then falls ill? Do you have to pay him for the time off?

What should you do? Today, we take a look.

According to the law, in this case you should treat your employee's absence as unpaid leave and he can claim from UIF in this instance.

However, you can agree with your employee to make up the shortfall in sick leave with annual leave or you can reduce the wages payable and extend the number ofdays' sick leave.

Bear in mind that you can only do this with an agreement with your employee!

Moreover, you don't have to pay an employee for sick leave for injuries on duty.

Employees are entitled to compensation for injuries on duty. You don't have to pay sick leave for the period that your employee is off if he receives compensation under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).

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Here's an example that explains this:

Thandi gets hurt on duty and has been booked off for a month. Pending an investigation, it seems she may have been negligent and climbed on a moving conveyor belt.

Must you deduct this time from her sick leave?

The BCEA states that an employee who's unable to work or is absent from work due to sickness or injury is entitled to paid sick leave. But, Thandi isn't entitled to sick leave if she's unable to work because of an accident as defined in COIDA.

You can't deduct the absence as sick leave because there was an injury on duty. Thandi would be entitled to compensation (a monthly pension equal to 75% of salary) through the Compensation Fund. In these cases, the employer's responsible to pay the first three months and will be refunded for this or part thereof. If Thandi doesn't receive compensation pay, she's entitled to paid sick leave.

Thirdly, you can't prevent employees taking sick leave during notice periods!

Employees can still take sick leave owing to them in their notice period.

Keep this in mind whent it comes about unpaid leave and make sure you also have the needed agreements with your employees!

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