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Your accountant is on maternity leave, should you still pay her medical aid, pension fund and other benefits?

by , 13 March 2015
Your accountant is on maternity leave, should you still pay her medical aid, pension fund and other benefits?

When it comes to an employee who's on maternity leave, do you have to for her medical aid, pension fund and other benefits?

Read on to discover what labour law says...

Does your employee's renumeration change just because she's on medical aid?

According to the current law, you don't have to pay these benefits while your employees on maternity leave.

This because if your employee belongs to a retirement fund and/or medical aid, these payments have to be made on a monthly basis to ensure continuous cover and so if you're not paying her you don't have to cover them.

Nevertheless, you can decide, or depending on the terms of the funds, what payments you/your employee must make and to what extent they'll cover her during this time.

Note that if your company decides not to cover these payments, you should allow the employee to make private contributions. Another solution is that the employee repays the company for such contributions to ensure coverage isn't broken.

You also don't need to pay allowances and fringe benefits (e.g. car allowances, company cars, cell phone allowances, etc.) while she's on maternity leave.

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Keep in mind that you provide these for her to carry out her work which she won't be doing while on maternity leave. If you prefer to continue to pay them while she's on maternity leave, it's at the sole discretion of your company. And you should add it to your maternity leave policy!

Remember that you must have company policies in place covering all these aspects.

For example, in your maternity leave policy you can have a clause about'Leave with full pay'

The clause will outline that your employee will continue to receive her normal salary and her normal staff benefits.

Or your policy can outline that you grant  „Leave without pay but with benefits'.

In this case, you won't pay your employee her normal salary but will pay her normal staff benefits.

Keep in mind that membership of the retirement fund continues for this period and this means that you can elect to only pay a portion of the normal contribution and she will pay the remainder of her Contributions to the fund for her maternity period.

Group Life cover should continue for this period. This can include death, temporary disability, permanent disability and funeral disability. You can elect to cover the single rate of cover for your employee and she'll cover the remainder of her contributions.

Note that if your company provides medical aid, then the medical aid cover must continue to ensure full cover. Thus, you must decide how you'll fund it, i.e. the employee pays or you pay it as a loan which the employee may need to pay back when she returns to work

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