Employee and Recruitment

Annual Leave in South Africa

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Number of Leave Days

Workers must get annual leave in South Africa of at least –

  • 21 consecutive days, or
  • 1 day for every 17 days worked, or
  • 1 hour for every 17 hours worked.

Based on Legislation in Section 20, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Timing of Leave

Both the employer and worker should agree to the timing of leave.  If they cannot agree, the employer makes the final decision.
Leave must be granted not later than 6 months after the end of the annual leave cycle (12 month periods from date of employment).

Based on Legislation in Section 20, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Pay Instead of Annual Leave

Employers may not pay workers instead of granting leave, except on termination of employment.

Based on Legislation in Section 21, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Annual Leave and Public Holidays

A public holiday cannot be counted as annual leave.

Based on Legislation in Section 20, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

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  1. How do you go about administrating/controlling the leave for an organisation. For instance, if the company policy is to be able to accumulate up to a maximum of 30 days annual leave – does that employee’s leave cycle start on date of employment or the general leave cycle date for auditing purposes? And can that employee forfeit those leave days, or is there a specific process that needs to be followed?

  2. Interesting article. Having 21 consecutive days would be an amazing concept. I wish this was practiced in the U.S.

  3. Can an employer force an employee to take unpaid annual leave just because the company is closed during that time and the employee has only been there 2 months and does not have leave accumulated?Would really appreciate a reply asap!thanks!

  4. For a number of people, the weekly paycheck is ‘take-home pay’ because home is the one place they could manage to choose it.
    Usually do not trust people. These are effective at greatness.

  5. sarmashni naidu Reply

    please advise how many days leave staff are entitled to from year one onwards of employment . DOes it vary for every year worked and where is it capped

  6. Good day

    Please can someone advice on a couple of questions I have:

    Can a company deduct tax of my salary if the company is not registered for tax?

    I have accumulate 15 leave days from 2010 up to 2012, when I spoke to the owner he said that it is company policy that leave days are not carried over. Can he do it?

    I have been working for the company from 2009 up to now and don’t have a contract.


  7. can we take 20day leave after 5 years employment, Please state the law details

  8. Laverne Evon Reply

    Good day .

    Could someone advise me. I’ve resigned from my company and havent taken leave foe full year ive been here.

    They are refusing to pay my leave out with this months salary . And also saying the need to work it out . What there be to work out when i havent taken leave.

    What can i do and how many days do u get for a year?

    Thank you

  9. Mike van Rooyen Reply

    How many days leave can an employee lawfully accumulate over a few years

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