Understanding Leave allowances under the BCEA

Annual Leave

  • 21 continuous days (or by agreement 1 day for every 17 days worked).

  • take leave no later than 6 months after the end of the leave cycle.

  • outstanding leave is only paid out when you leave the job.

Sick Leave

  • 6 weeks per 36 month cycle.

  • new job – only 1 day per 26 day cycle worked (for first 6 months).

  • medical certificate may be requested if sick for more than 2 days – or more than twice in 8 weeks.

Maternity Leave

  • up to 4 months of continuous leave, if pregnant.

  • can start from 4 weeks before birth date.

  • no worker may work within 6 weeks of giving birth (unless the medical officer gives the ok).

  • no work that endangers pregnant mom or baby allowed.

Paternity Leave

  • fathers allowed 10 consecutive days (claim from UIF for these unpaid days).

  • also applies to adoption of children under 2 years.

  • notify the company before taking leave, unless unable to.

  • (check that your company has adopted the 10-day paternity leave option.)

Breastfeeding mom’s rights

  • ask the manager for a safe space to express milk or breastfeed.

  • for baby’s first 6 months, 2 breaks per day (30 min each).

  • toilets not considered appropriate space for this – seek alternative, safe space.

Family responsibility Leave

If employed full-time for longer than 4 months, you can take 3 days paid family responsibility leave per year if:

  • a child is born

  • a child is sick

  • a death of a spouse/life partner, parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.

The employer may require reasonable proof of birth, illness or death for which the leave was taken.

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