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Your boss can grant annual leave when it suits the business or refuse it: expert

1 December 2021 12:44 PM
Tags:
Annual leave
employment law
annual leave days
employee rights

Presenter Zain Johnson employment law expert Johan Botes about employee rights when it comes to sick and annual leave.
  • An employee's leave request doesn't always work to the best interests of a business
  • If an employee and employer have not agreed on when annual leave can be taken then annual leave is taken at the time to suit the employer
  • Labour law specialist Johan Botes explains what employees should know when it comes to leave

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Image: © ordinary042/123rf.com

An employer can deny an annual leave application or grant it only at a time that is suitable for the business in some cases.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act states that an employee and an employer must agree on when annual leave can be taken, and if there is no agreement, annual leave is taken at the time to suit the employer.

Employment law and labour relations specialist Johan Botes adds that some employers can stipulate that annual leave must be taken during the company's shutdown period.

Botes, who heads Baker McKenzie's Employment and Compensation Practice Group, says paid annual leave and sick leave have financial implications for businesses, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Annual leave is taken at the discretion and at a time that suits the employer.

Johan Botes, Partner and Head of Employment Practice - Baker McKenzie South Africa

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act tells us that the parties should ideally agree on when an employee can take annual leave but absent such an agreement, the employer has the prerogative to actually grant the annual leave at a time that suits the businesses, refuse it when it doesn't suit the business.

Johan Botes, Partner and Head of Employment Practice - Baker McKenzie South Africa

It's estimated that sick leave costs the South African economy R15 billion annually with rates of absenteeism increasing due to Covid-19 infection.

Statistics indicate that approximately six million people take sick leave each day, which amounts to 15% of SA's workforce, Botes adds.

There's actually some interesting stats in respect of sick leave and the burden that sick leave plays on the economy.

Johan Botes, Partner and Head of Employment Practice - Baker McKenzie South Africa

It's difficult to look at sick leave as a burden. If people get ill, you don't want them to come to the workplace, you want them to stay at home, get better and recuperate... but there's no two ways about it, there's a cost attached to that.

Johan Botes, Partner and Head of Employment Practice - Baker McKenzie South Africa

According to stats, there's roughly about six million people per day in South Africa on six leave. That's a significant number. 15% of our workforce.

Johan Botes, Partner and Head of Employment Practice - Baker McKenzie South Africa



1 December 2021 12:44 PM
Tags:
Annual leave
employment law
annual leave days
employee rights

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