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What counts as a dependant's emergency?

by , 25 June 2014
Contents of the 5-part special course
Part 1: Avoid the Pitfalls of Fixed-Term Contracts
Part 2: What Counts as a Dependant's Emergency?
Part 3: How to Stop Grievances Escalating to Constructive Dismissal Claims
Part 4: Induction: Inspire Employees from Day 1
Part 5: Can We Dismiss an Employee Covered by a Sick Note?

What are the exact employees' legal rights to time off for annual leave, breaks, religious festivals, emergencies, paternity leave and other special situations? And when should you pay them? 
An ineffective leave policy could cripple your business from right under your nose

Did you know that not forcing your employees to take their annual leave could end up costing you anything up to R15,000 per employee?
That's right - employees that don't take leave could be costing you just as much as those that abuse it. 
That's because any leave that's accrued into the following financial year will increase the leave bill for your company and therefore severely affect your organisation in the long run.
That's why I'm excited to introduce you to a resource that completely takes the stress and confusion out of managing annual leave in your company. A resource that will:
  • Help you create a water-tight leave policy,
  • Help you know your rights and responsibilities,
  • Give you step-by-step instructions on managing annual leave effectively,
  • Is 100% legally compliant,
  • And gives you tips and tools to save you the most time and money…
 Click here to find out more or forward this to a colleague.


What counts as a dependant's emergency?

Employees are allowed to take unpaid time off to deal with an emergency situation that arises in relation to a dependant. A dependant is defined as the employee's wife/husband, child, parent, grandparent or sibling.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act allows an employee to take three days off during working hours to deal with a situation that arises in the following circumstances:
• When your employee's child is born;
• When your employee's child is sick;
• In the event of the death of:
– your employee's spouse or life partner
– your employee's parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.

Employee rights to payment for emergency time off

An employee who has been employed by you for longer than four months and who works for you for at least four days a week is entitled, during any leave cycle, to three day's paid family responsibility leave (Section 27(1) of the BCEA).

No advanced notice required for emergency leave

The employee is required to inform you of the absence, and the reason for it, as soon as is reasonably practical. As the nature of this leave is to deal with unexpected events, an employee isn't expected to give advance notice of the absence. An employee must not suffer any detriment for taking time off to care for dependants. If you unreasonably refuse to let an employee take time off for dependants, the employee can lodge a complaint to the CCMA for unfair labour practice.


Why handling time off questions WELL is so crucial to your business
The correct handling of time off questions is not just an important legal issue. It's also crucial for employee morale. Employers and managers often have to tread a thin line between seeming fair to employees and becoming over-lenient. They also need to be aware of issues that can occur when some employees appear to be given more time off than others. You want your employees to be at work but you also want them to be motivated workers. Click here to find out more or forward this email to a colleague.

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