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Tell your employees about unpaid leave if they're tempted to take a six-month sabbatical like the Grand Rabbi of France!

by , 12 April 2013
Gilles Bernheim is the Grand Rabbi of France. He's in the media spotlight this week for requesting at least six months' leave to clear up a scandal. More surprising? His request's been accepted. Most employees don't have this luxury, as they're only allocated the minimum of 15 days' annual leave per year. Here's what to do if your' employees insist on taking extra leave...

Following a scandal in which he 'borrowed' other people's work and lied about his degree, France's top rabbi is taking at least six months' leave from his post, says News24.
The Central Consistory of France accepted Rabbi Gilles Bernheim's request for time away and two other rabbis will temporarily fill the post of Grand Rabbi of France in his absence.
Talks about whether he'll return at all will take place in the coming months.
But six months is a very long time to be on leave.
If this news tempts your employees to ask you about taking extended leave, remind them that by law, you only have to grant them 21 consecutive days' annual leave on full remuneration for each annual leave cycle.
And this usually works out to just 15 days' annual leave over week days per year, says attorney Peta-Anne Barrow in the The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
But if your employees insist on taking more than the amount of annual leave you've allocated to them, explain the concept of unpaid leave to them.
Employees looking to exceed their annual leave allocation? Let them tick 'unpaid leave' on their leave forms!
Because you can insist any leave taken in excess of the 15 days annual leave allocated is to be unpaid, explains Barrow.
Just make sure that the leave forms your employees fill out have an 'unpaid leave' option.
Then, you'll need to make sure you're keeping daily attendance registers for all staff to tackle the problem of absenteeism if you have accurate records to back you up, as this is a requirement of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, explains FSP Business.
Keep track of what type of leave's been taken with an accurate attendance register!
But don't just mark whether employees are in the office or not.
Devise a system that shows whether their absence was based on paid leave, like sick leave they can prove with a sick note, or unpaid leave, for being on strike or exceeding their annual leave allocation.
It's the only way to simplify the thorny topic of leave!

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