Family Responsibility Leave

Do you know how to get help in the workplace in South Africa regarding family responsibility leave, parental leave, paternity pay, paid paternity leave, maternity leave for men
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Is there any specific legislation regarding family and work in South Africa?

There is legislation which is known as Family Responsibility Leave. It falls under the Basic Conditons of Employment Act (BCEA).

What is Family Responsibility Leave and how does it work?

  • Employees employed for longer than four months and for at least four days a week are entitled to take three days paid family responsibility leave during each leave cycle. 
  • This can happen under certain circumstances:

     When the employee’s child is born

     When the employee’s child is sick

     In the event of the death of the employee’s spouse or life partner or parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling. 

  • Employers may require reasonable proof of the birth, illness or death for which a worker requests leave. 
  • The provisions for family responsibility leave do not apply to workers who work less than four months for their employer, four days a week for one employer or 24 hours a month.
  • Family responsibility leave expires at the end of the annual cycle.

What about Paternity Leave?

In accordance with the section 27 of the BCEA, workers (with at least 4 months of service) are allowed fully paid family responsibility of 3 days during each annual leave cycle (12 months). Family responsibilities include birth of a child among other family events. 

What if a close relative dies – am I still covered for Family Responsibility Leave?

No. Family Responsibility Leave does not make provision for the death of in-laws, nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts.

Does Family Responsibility Leave cover my child’s regular visits to the dentist or for annual check-ups?

No. Family Responsibility Leave does not cover basic medical procedures such as routine visits to the dentist or orthodontist, getting blood tests or x-rays. It refers specifically to a child being sick.

Can exceptions be made?

A company or employer can, at their discretion, grant special leave, unpaid leave or annual leave for these above instances.

Is there legislation in South Africa regarding working parents and child care?


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Find out more about Annual Leave in South Africa.