The below articles are only basic guidelines.
Please contact Scorpion Legal Protection for more information.
If your employer isn’t treating you, as employee, right, rest assured that you have the Labour Law on your side! South Africa’s Labour Law has been formulated to ensure fair outcomes for both employees and employers. But how familiar are you with your rights as an employee? Let’s look at some of the common issues employees face regarding leave entitlement and unfair discrimination.
Leave and rest days
According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, employees have the right to take annual leave. You may have 21 consecutive days of paid annual leave, or may take one day off for every 17 days worked. You may also agree to one hour off for every 17 hours worked. In addition, you have the right to 36 hours of consecutive hours of rest per week. Public holidays (such as Workers’ Day and Christmas Day) are also paid holidays for full-time employees.
If you become ill, you may put in one day of sick leave for every 26 days worked. Sick leave is paid leave, but your employer may request a medical certificate (doctor’s note) as proof of your illness if you’ve been ill for more than two consecutive days. If you are unable to produce such a certificate, your employer is entitled to treat your leave as unpaid.
When you have a family emergency (such as an ill child or a family funeral), and you’ve been with your employer for four months or more, you may ask for family responsibility leave. You may have three days a year of family responsibility leave.
You may also choose to ask for unpaid leave if your situation demands it.
The South African Constitution says that all persons are equal before the law. This means that you may not be discriminated against based on your age, sex, religion, disability, sexual preference, culture, ethnicity, race, language, marital status or anything else that defines you as a person in the workplace. For instance: if you have been overlooked for a promotion because you are pregnant, it is unfair discrimination. However, an employer may apply fair discrimination when it is based on affirmative action, necessary for the specific job (for instance: you can’t appoint a wheelchair-bound person to install solar panels), is compulsory by law, or is based on productivity.
If you feel that you are being treated unfairly in your place of work, it is a good idea to consult with a legal professional on your way forward. Scorpion Legal Protection assists policyholders in determining the way forward with their cases. To find out more about Scorpion Legal Protection, SMS “SUN” to 34453 and we’ll call you back. Terms and conditions apply; SMSs charged at R1,50.
(Please note: This is only general advice and should not be relied on solely. The law is complicated and there are many influencing factors that can change the above).
Date added: 10 November 2016