Should employers grant staff a day off to join protests?

There are a number of protest marches scheduled to take place across South Africa.

Companies have been encouraged to shut down or allow their employees to join these marches the majority of which are against President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet reshuffle.

What are the implications if companies chose to shutdown to join the marches?

Pierre van der Merwe, labour lawyer at Schindlers Attorneys, Notaries & Conveyancers says there is no specific reference in the Basic Condition of Employment that caters for staff wanting to attend protests.

See also: Save SA calls on all South Africans to join march against Zuma

Companies are free to join the protests and give their employees a day off if they so wish, it is entirely at the discretion of the employer.

Pierre van der Merwe, Labour lawyer at Schindlers Attorneys, Notaries & Conveyancers

The employees have no right to take a day off...

Pierre van der Merwe, Labour lawyer at Schindlers Attorneys, Notaries & Conveyancers

Van der Merwe says employees can apply for leave in advance to join the marches but it is still the discretion of the employer to grant that leave.

The law is very clear as to the amount of days that you are allowed to take off...

Pierre van der Merwe, Labour lawyer at Schindlers Attorneys, Notaries & Conveyancers

To hear more of this conversation, please listen below:


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