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Three common questions asked about leave to keep you out of the CCMA!

by , 30 April 2015
You're a manager and you've been dealing with leave for a long time. And you know everything there is to know about leave.

Right?

Well, according to the labour and hr questions we get every day, it seems many employers still don't deal with leave correctly. And because of this, they end up at the CCMA.

Keep reading below to see three common questions and answers about leave to help you manage leave correctly so you don't end up at the CCMA.


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Three common questions about leave

1. If my employee can't get to work, is it paid or unpaid leave?

Question:
One of my employees wasn't at work on Monday. She said she didn't have any transport. Do I have to give her paid leave or not?

Answer:
You're not obliged to pay this employee as she didn't work. But, if you're going to debit the employee's annual leave entitlement you must pay the employee for annual leave. If not, you can make her take unpaid leave.

It's a good idea to advise her that a lack of transport isn't a valid reason for non-attendance at work and that the onus is on her to ensure that she's at work during normal work hours.


2. Can my employee take annual leave when he's resigned?

Question:
One of my employees resigned in the month of her final exams. She wants to forfeit her study leave days and take annual leave instead. Is she entitled to take annual leave during her notice period? Would we be in breach of the BCEA if I denied her request for annual or unpaid leave?

Answer:
No, you wouldn't be in breach of the BCEA if you denied her request (Section 20(5) of the BCEA). You can't require or allow your employee to take annual leave during any period of notice of termination of employment. You'd be in breach of the BCEA if you allowed her to take annual leave.

But, there's nothing that prevents you from allowing her to take unpaid leave during the notice period.


3. Can we deduct leave pay for loan repayments?

Question:
Some of our staff members borrowed money from the company. They're now battling to pay it back and keep on asking for more time to repay the loan. Can we convert their leave pay as payment for the loans?

Answer:
You can't pay employees instead of granting them annual leave unless you terminate their employment.

You can let your employees go on leave, but instead of paying them in full for the days off, you can deduct some of the debt from their remuneration. To do so, you must still comply with Section 34 of the BCEA, including the provision that total deductions may not exceed 25% of remuneration.

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