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Sick leave for occupational injuries or diseases. Must you pay your employee a salary or not?

by , 12 March 2015
Sick leave can get complicated. Espeically in the case where your employee is injured or becomes ill at work.

Does standard paid sick leave apply when this happens?

Today, we explain what the law says about cases like this and show you how to apply it.


Does your employee get paid sick leave if he's been in a workplace accident?

You should know that you can't use your employee's paid sick leave allocation if his inability to work stems from an accident or occupational disease.

The same applies where a claim is accepted in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA)

However, you can allocate his absence to sick leave for any period during which no compensation is payable in terms of those Acts (Section 24). This exclusion only applies for those periods when your employee actually receives compensation from the Compensation Fund.

Essentially, that means your employee is entitled to use paid sick leave only when he doesn't actually receive compensation.

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Here's an example that explains this case:

How to apply labour law's stipulation on how sick leave for occupational injuries must be handled...

Joshua is hurt on duty and booked off work for six months. The Compensation Commissioner accepts his filed COIDA claim. While he's waiting for his claim and he hasn't begun receiving benefits, you should allocate his absent days to sick leave.

Once he starts receiving benefits from the Compensation Commission, you don't have to give Joshua paid sick leave. Record his absence as unpaid leave.

It's only if the compensation benefit from the Commission stops at any time during the six months that he's off work, that you must treat his absence as sick leave. Do this until his allocated sick leave allocation is finished.


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