Employees entitled to leave provisions during lockdown

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The department of employment and labour says employees in South Africa were entitled to leave provisions as set out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) during the national 21-day lockdown.

“The effect of the three-week lockdown will most probably have a negative impact on employers and employees in South Africa.

“All employees in South Africa, as a condition of their employment, are entitled to leave provisions as set out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act,” the department said in a statement.

The department said the act recognises certain forms of leave, which may, depending on the circumstances, be applicable to the employee’s absence as a result of Covid-19.

During the lockdown period, an employee may be requested by the employer to take annual leave from his/her annual leave credits.

The BCEA allows employers to determine the time that employees can take their annual leave.

Chief Director of labour relations at the department of employment and labour, Thembinkosi Mkalipi, said: “In as much as employers are within their rights to insist that employees take annual leave during the lockdown, as the department, we encourage employers not to request employees to utilise their annual leave credits for the lockdown.

“Instead, rather utilise the financial assistance that the department has placed at their disposal through the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) in cases where companies cannot afford to pay employees.”

The Citizen