According to section 22 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), a “sick leave cycle” means a period of 36 months’ employment with the same employer. This period immediately follows:

  • An employee’s commencement of employment; or
  • The completion of that employee’s prior sick leave cycle.

During every leave cycle of this nature, an employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days that the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks. During the first six months of employment, an employee is entitled to one day’s paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.

During an employee’s first cycle, an employer may reduce the employee’s entitlement sick leave by the number of days’ leave taken.

An employer must pay an employee for a day’s leave:

  • The wage the employee would ordinarily have received for work on that day;
  • And on the employee’s usual pay day.

An Agreement About Sick Leave

An agreement may reduce the pay to which an employee is entitled for any day’s absence if:

  • The number of days of paid sick leave is increased at least commensurately with any reduction in the daily amount of sick pay; and
  • The employee’s entitlement to pay:
    – For any day’s sick leave is at least 75% of the wage payable to the employee for the ordinary hours the employee would have worked ; and
    – For sick leave over the sick leave cycle is at least equivalent to the employee’s entitlement.

Don’t Let Employees Pull The Wool Over Your Eyes!

Very often, employees will try to pull the wool over your eyes and try to apply for sick leave – when there’s no reason for this. Join us for the Managing Absenteeism and Leave Abuse course and never again be fooled by employees who are chancing their arm. Follow this link for more information.


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