Family Responsibility Leave

family-responsibility leaveWhen it comes to family responsibility leave, South African labour law is quite clear: every full-time worker is entitled to leave when family emergencies occur.

If you’re wondering how much family responsibility leave your staff members are entitled to, or whether a staff member qualifies for this type of leave, read on – we’ve prepared a quick guide that explains this issue in detail.

What exactly is family responsibility leave?

According to the Department of Labour, family responsibility leave is paid leave which can be taken by a staff member in any of these situations:

  • The birth of a child
  • Illness of a child
  • The death of a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act lists these reasons as the only suitable ones for family responsibility leave to be taken – any other situations which might come up in your employee’s private life are probably not valid.

How much family responsibility leave are staff members entitled to?

Each full-time staff member may take three days’ paid family responsibility leave in one leave cycle. If the employer requests reasonable proof of the death of a loved one, the staff member should be able to provide this.

Dealing with family responsibility leave in your business

The death or illness of a loved one is never an easy time for anyone, and if a member of your staff is going through this difficult experience it’s probably the right time to show your caring side as an employer.

Granting family responsibility leave on a “no questions asked” basis is probably a good strategy when dealing with most employees. Of course, you may find yourself with a staff member who exceeds their three days per leave cycle and always seems to have a family crisis that needs their urgent attention.

Laying down the law on unnecessary leave taking

In this situation, it’s a good idea to remind your staff exactly what situations qualify for family responsibility leave.

There’s a world of difference between taking a day or two off following the death of a parent and claiming you need time off to help your sister through her divorce – unless someone has passed away or is seriously ill, there’s probably not much reason to grant family responsibility leave.

If you have any questions about labour issues, including leave, contact Northwood today and our team will be happy to advise you in more detail.

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