An important part of life involves your work. Another important part of live involves your family. There will probably come a time in your life where your family responsibility requires you to take leave from work to deal with a family matter. The question is, how does this type of situation work? Thankfully, there is law that addresses the issue of family responsibility leave. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) outlines things clearly. In this post we will give you some clarity on the topic of family responsibility leave.
When we use the term “family responsibility leave”, we are referring to the idea of you, as an employee, taking fully-paid leave to deal with family matters, where this type of leave is not deducted from your annual leave entitlement. While we explain the law and its minimum conditions, please note that some employers grant more favourable terms. The more favourable terms could be at the employer’s discretion or because of a collective agreement with a trade union.
In addressing the topic of family responsibility leave, we will answer the following questions:
- Are you entitled to family responsibility leave?
- When can you take family responsibility leave?
- What proof must you give your employer?
- How many days can you take?
- For employers of small businesses: Can you contract out?
1. Are you entitled to family responsibility leave?
You are entitled to family responsibility leave if:
- You are covered by the BCEA,
- You have worked for more than 4 months, and
- You work at least 4 days per week.
2. When can you take family responsibility leave?
You may take family responsibility leave:
- When your child is born,
- When your child (under the age of 18) is sick, or
- In the event of the death of your spouse or life partner, parent or adoptive parent, grandparent, child or adopted child, grandchild or sibling.
3. What proof must you give your employer?
Employers may require you to show “reasonable proof” of the birth, illness or death.
4. How many days can you take?
You have 3 days of family responsibility leave in each annual cycle. If you are a domestic worker, you have 5 days. These days cannot be accumulated and they lapse if they are not taken.
5. For employers of small businesses: Can you contract out?
A small business is defined in the act as one with 10 or less employees, that conducts only one business, that is not formed by the division or dissolution of an existing business. If you are a small business, you can agree in writing with your employees that family responsibility leave will count against their annual leave. This does not apply to domestic employees or public servants.
If you require any advice or assistance in a matter related to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].