News / E-Bulletin

Sick leave and annual leave during the lock-down

Mar 26,2020

Jacques van Wyk - Director, Bradley Workman-Davies - Director and Andre van Heerden - Director

By Andre van Heerden, Senior Associate; Jacques van Wyk, Director, Bradley Workman-Davies, Director; and Thabisa Yantolo , Candidate Attorney

Having regard to the above, a number of measures have been introduced, or are in the process of being introduced, to provide financial relief to employees and employers. The question remains, what is the position regarding annual leave and sick leave during the annual shutdown for employees who cannot work and are not infected (or suspected of being infected)?

Employees who are sick during the shutdown period will be entitled to sick leave in the ordinary course. Employees who exhaust their sick leave will be on unpaid leave. Of its own volition an employer may elect to provide ‘special leave’.  This can be on full pay, or reduced pay.

An employer may compel an employee, during the shutdown period, to take annual leave. In instances where an employee is capable of working from home the employee cannot be compelled to take annual leave and work. Where annual leave is exhausted employees will be on unpaid leave. Of its own volition an employer may elect to provide ‘special leave’.  This can be on full pay, or reduced pay.