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Tom takes you the CCMA for refusing to pay his leave days. The court ruling will shock you!

by , 26 November 2014
You dismiss Tom for fighting an employee at work.

He has 48.8 days' annual leave during his employment. Upon dismissal, you only pay him 40 days' leave.

Tom takes you to the CCMA for refusing to pay him the balance of 8.8 days' leave.

During the case, you explain to the Commissioner that your leave policy clearly states employees may not accumulate excess of 40 days.

It's a great thing you have a leave policy but it may not be CCMA proof. Because of that, the court ruling may shock you!

Keep reading below...

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The Court will rule that you pay Tom for the 8.8 days' leave

The reason for this is because as an employer you have to ensure an employee takes his annual leave before it's in excess (Section 20(4) of the BCEA). In this case, you failed to do so with Tom.

You must encourage your employees to take their annual leave. Otherwise it will cost your company thousands of rands. More specifically, you should bring to their attention that the legislation doesn't permit accumulation.

The BCEA also protects employees who might have been denied annual leave. And it could be possible that Tom didn't take leave because you denied it. The law imposes an obligation on you to grant your employees leave due to them.

Leave not taken within six months isn't  automatically forfeited (Section 20(4) of the BCEA).

So to avoid paying unnecessary fines to employees or the Department of Labour, remember these three points when it comes to annual leave:
  • You must grant your employees annual leave not later than six months after the end of the annual leave cycle;
  • You may not pay your employees instead of granting paid leave except on termination of employment; and
  • Employees must take annual leave according to an agreement between you and your employees or, if there isn't an agreement, at a time determined by you.


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