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These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding of Labour, our Labour services and some common queries. They provide basic information, sometimes about fairly complex topics, for more clarity please contact our offices. If you have any questions about Labour services that are not covered here or elsewhere on our website, please email admin@oriole.co.za

These FAQ's are designed to be helpful in raising awareness and providing general information about Labour. They are not a substitute for consulting advice. They may not cover important issues that affect you directly. You should consult with us directly if you have questions.

Annual Leave Entitlement

How much annual leave are employees entitled to?

For every 12 months with an employer calculated from commencement or the company specific leave cycle;

  • Employees who work a five-day week are entitled to 15 days annual leave.
  • Employees who work a six-day week are entitled to 18 days annual leave.
  • Annual leave does not apply to employees who work less than 24 hours per month for an employer.
Annual leave is calculated at a rate of:
  • 1.25 days per month for employees working a five-day week.
  • 1.5 days per month for employees working a six-day week.
  • Annual leave is calculated at 1 hour for every 17 hours worked.

Notice Periods

What should I do as an employer when an employee leaves before their notice period is up?

The company will still have to pay leave pay and salary or wage until the last day he/she worked but not for the full notice period.

The company may sue the employee for breach of contract and claim damages that the company has suffered, due to this breach of the contract, which will have to be proven.

If an employee resigns giving only 24 hours’ notice, may the company set off the notice period as prescribed by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act or the contract the employee signed?

If the employee had been with the company for more than six months, but less than a year he/she must give the company two weeks notice. If the employee has 12 months service or more, he/she must give the company 4 weeks notice.

If the employee leaves the company before completing the prescribed notice periods, the company has the right to institute a civil claim against the employee for damages, as a result of the employee being in breach of his/her contractual notice obligations.

The employee should only be paid until the last day of his/her employment with the company.

Termination Payments

What can I expect to be paid when I resign?

An employee is entitled to be paid notice pay, salary up to the last day worked and any outstanding leave pay. Bonuses may be payable pro rata, but this will depend on the employer’s bonus payment policy, and any other bonus payment agreements which may be contained in a contract of employment. Retirement fund benefits will also become payable to the employee in terms of the rules of the respective fund.

What payment am I entitled to if retrenched?

The minimum severance pay is 1-week salary for every completed year of service. But retrenchment severance packages are normally negotiated between employer and employee and there is a retrenchment processes that has to be followed, section 189 and section 189A of the Labour Relations Act.

Fixed term agreements

Is the employer obligated to notify the contractor before the contract expires?

Only if the employee can justify their claim that they expected the contract to be renewed should he/she be notified. This will be determined by the specific case as the company can none the less argue that the contract ended on expiry of the term as fixed in the contract.

Companies could include a clause in their contracts stipulating that there is no expectation of extending or renewing the fixed term contract.

Sick Leave

What sick leave am I entitled to?

Employees are entitled to 30 days sick leave per three-year cycle. During the first six months of employment, an employee is entitled to 1 day for every 26 days worked.
When the 30 days sick leave is used up in any three-year cycle then there is no further sick leave until the start of the next three-year cycle.

What do you do when an employee has exhausted all their sick leave for this three-year cycle, and their annual leave for the current cycle? Now they need to take more sick leave?

If all sick leave and annual leave in the current cycles has been taken, there is no legal obligation on the employer to pay the employee any more sick leave which may be treated as unpaid leave.

I was off sick for a week and now my employer deducted this from my remuneration surely they cannot do this, as I have not used up all my sick leave?

An employee who is away from work for more than two consecutive days has to submit a medical certificate signed by a medical practitioner. If you fail to do so the company does not have to pay the employee for these days. (These may be regarded as unpaid leave.

Miscellaneous

Other people were given an increase but I wasn’t, is this allowed?

Salary increases are not regulated by labour legislations, but may be provided for in any Main agreement or collective agreements. If there aren’t any such agreements, salary increases remains a matter of mutual interest between employer and employee. There is no obligation on the employer to grant annual increases.

I feel like I am being harassed, intimidated and victimized.

It is unacceptable to harass, intimidate or victimize employees; this is a violation of the human rights of the employee and also a violation of the employee’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. Employers have a duty to protect their employees from harassment and should not subject employees to harassment.

The employee should address this by taking note of the incidents including the date and time of the incident as well as witnesses. The harasser should be confronted with this and demanded to stop.

Should the harassment not stop the employee may refer the matter to the CCMA and is this fails the matter may proceed to labour court.