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Three vital annual leave entitlement facts to comply with the BCEA

by , 30 April 2014
You need to manage your employees' annual leave effectively. If you don't, you're breaking the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). This could result in criminal prosecution. Don't take that risk. Make sure you know these three important points about annual leave entitlement so you can manage it properly and comply with the BCEA.


All your annual leave questions answered!

Compiled by our labour and HR experts along with the team that gave you the Labour Law For Managers Handbook, The Ultimate Guide to Annual Leave answers the trickiest annual leave questions clearly and accurately so you're never stumped again.

Questions like…

  • How do I deduct employees leave for annual shut down?
  • Can you pay out your employees instead of granting paid annual leave?
  • What's the rule about taking annual leave during notice periods?

This report will make 100% sure you remain in control of this vital employer obligation.


To manage annual leave well, make sure you know these three facts about annual leave entitlement

#1: Your employee must take annual leave at a time you both agree on

But, if you can't reach an agreement, you, the employer, can decide when your employee has to go on leave.

For example, if you have a shutdown period over December, you can ask your employee to take annual leave during this time.

Just don't forget that you must grant your employees annual leave no later than six months after the end of their annual leave cycle.

#2: You're not allowed to ask your employees to take annual leave during any other period of leave (i.e. sick leave, family responsibility leave or maternity leave).

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that, if, for example, John takes paid family responsibility leave and his previously agreed annual leave becomes due while he's on family responsibility leave, you can't force him to take the annual leave.

That's not all. Here's one more thing you need to know about annual leave entitlement.


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#3: You must allow your employee (at his request) to take annual leave during any period of unpaid leave

For example, your employee can be on unpaid leave because he's exhausted his sick leave. You can give him annual leave if he asks for it in writing.

There you have it. Knowing these three points about annual leave entitlement will help ensure you manage annual leave effectively.

But, there's so much more to annual leave entitlement than this. Check out The Ultimate Guide to Annual Leave to ensure you have everything covered.

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