# How To Calculate Sick Leave Days South Africa

As an employer or employee, understanding the rules and regulations of sick leave days in South Africa can be quite confusing. It is important to be informed about sick leave policies and the procedures to follow when taking leave due to illness.

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## What is Sick Leave?

Sick leave refers to the leave taken by an employee due to illness or injury that prevents them from performing their duties or makes it unsafe for them to do so. In South Africa, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) stipulates that an employee is entitled to sick leave if they are unable to work due to illness or injury.

## How many Sick Leave Days are employees entitled to?

According to the BCEA, an employee is entitled to 30 days of sick leave over a period of 36 months. This equates to 1 day of sick leave for every 26 days worked. After 36 months, the cycle restarts and employees are entitled to a further 30 days of sick leave. The BCEA also states that employees are entitled to be paid for sick leave days taken, subject to certain conditions.

### Calculation of Sick Leave Days

Calculating sick leave can sometimes be confusing. Here is a breakdown of how to calculate sick leave days in South Africa:

• Employers must allocate sick leave days to the employee based on their full-time, part-time or temporary employment status.
• Employees are entitled to 1 day of sick leave for every 26 days worked.
• Employers can calculate the number of sick leave days that an employee is entitled to by multiplying the number of days worked by 1/26.
• If an employee has not worked for a full month, the sick leave entitlement will be calculated as 1 day for every 26 days worked.

For example, if an employee works 5 days a week, they will work approximately 21.67 days in a month (based on a 30-day month). Therefore, their sick leave entitlement would be calculated as follows:

Sick Leave Entitlement = 21.67 x 1/26 = 0.83 (rounded up to 1)

This means that the employee is entitled to 1 day of sick leave for every month worked.

## Conditions for taking Sick Leave

There are certain conditions that employees need to adhere to in order to take sick leave:

• Employees must inform their employer as soon as possible that they are not able to come to work due to illness or injury.
• Employers have the right to request a sick note from the employee's doctor or medical practitioner if they have been off sick for more than 2 consecutive days.
• If an employee has exhausted their sick leave entitlement, they may be entitled to take unpaid leave, subject to their employer's discretion.

## What happens if an Employee does not use their Sick Leave?

If an employee does not use their sick leave entitlement during a 36-month cycle, their unused sick leave days will be carried over to the next cycle. This means that employees will be entitled to more than 30 days of sick leave in the next cycle. Employers are not obligated to pay employees for unused sick leave days.

## Conclusion

Knowing how to calculate sick leave days in South Africa is essential for both employers and employees. By understanding and adhering to the policies and procedures outlined in the BCEA, employers can ensure that they are complying with the law and treating their employees fairly. Employees, on the other hand, can exercise their rights and take the necessary leave they are entitled to when they are sick or injured.

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