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Your employee's cousin just died. Should you grant him family responsibility leave?

by , 23 March 2015
It's a legal requirement to grant your employees' family responsibility leave. That's three days paid leave per annum (Basic Conditions of Employment Act).

But judging from the questions we get on the labourandhrclub site, many employers get taken for a ride by their staff when it comes to family responsibility leave (FRL).

For example, your employee applies for family responsibility leave after the death of his cousin. Should you grant him this leave?

What about the birth of a child, does it fall under FRL?

These are just some of the questions we get. And today I'll take the worry out of you by explaining which circumstances fall under FRL so you can grant leave accordingly. And your employees won't take you for a ride.

Keep reading below...

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Not everyone is entitled to family responsibility leave...
You probably know your employees are allowed three days paid family responsibility leave a year. But did you know you only have to give this to employees who've been working for you for a certain number of days a week and months?

And then of course, there's the infamous 'my nanny's off sick so I need to stay home and look after little Johnny'. But did you know, you don't have to give time off for this?

So when must you grant family responsibility leave?

Get your hands on Your Guide to Family Responsibility Leave, we'll give you everything you need to know about FRL...

The following circumstances fall under family responsibility leave (FRL)

You must grant a male or female employee paid leave (Section 27 (2) of the BCEA):

1. When his child is born

  • A male employee doesn't receive 'paternity leave', but is entitled to take FRL for the birth of his child

2. When his child is sick. Keep in mind the BCEA doesn't state the age of a child. If your employee's child is over 21 and she falls sick, you must still grant your employee FRL.

3. In the event of the death of his

  • spouse or life partner

  • parent or adoptive parent

  • grandparent

  • child or adopted child

  • grandchild

  • sibling

Remember, you can ask your employee for proof to justify his request for FRL. This proof could include:

  • A birth certificate when the employee's child is born;

  • A medical certificate if his child is sick; and/or

  • A death certificate, a letter from the tribal authority or a certificate from the religious leader officiating at the funeral if the employee claims FRL for a death in the family.

Some employees will abuse FRL. If your employee claims his child is sick frequently, but this always occurs before and after weekends and public holidays and after pay-day, ask for a medical certificate each time. Deduct this time from annual or unpaid leave if he's abusing his FRL, and discipline him if he continues to do so.

To find out which employees qualify for FRL, when your employees can't use FRL, or tips on how to manage FRL, turn to chapter L07: 10 Things you need to know about family responsibility leave in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management loose leaf. Click here if you dont have a copy yet.

P.S. I thought Rachel might have missed something when she insisted we essentially give a free Practical Guide to Human Resources Management Digital Loose Leaf Service for every print ordered this week. And to be honest: I still think it's a bit of a folly.

But she's the publisher... and if she's willing to take a chance just to convince you to use the service, well... so be it.

Click here to find out more

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