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Sipho's asked for sick leave to go to the specialist - should you grant it?

by , 25 March 2015
You know the drill:

Thandi asks for sick leave to go to the dentist... Tyron wants to take one day of paid sick leave to go to the physio... And Jane's just let you know that she needs to go to the dermatologist to get a mole burnt out tomorrow and needs half a sick day to do it.

But should you grant these requests as sick leave or not?

Read on to find out...

 
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Is it sick leave or not? Here's what labour law says…

 
The answer is 'no'.
 
These requests don't count as sick leave
 
Why? As Section 23(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) states that: 'Sick leave applies when the employee cannot attend work on account of 'sickness or injury'.'
 
Since appointments to see a doctor or specialist aren't the result of an immediate medical crisis, they're not something the BCEA classifies as sick leave.
 
So what should you tell your employee if they want a day off for these reasons?
 
You have two options. 
 
  1. Tell your employee he can have the day off, but he must request it as annual leave – not sick leave – for you to grant it. 
  2. Or tell your employee if he works in his lunch hour he can leave early or come in late to get to his medical appointment. 
 
There you have it. Don't let your employees hoodwink you into granted sick leave for medical reasons when they should be taking annual leave instead
 


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