Compassionate leave is time away from work that an employer grants an employee due to family emergencies. An employee is entitled to compassionate leave if there is a death or serious illness in the family, however, an employee must provide proof of either a death certificate or medical certificate by a medical practitioner as evidence.
Section 25 (1) of the Labour Act entitles an employee to not less than 5 working days of compassionate leave in a 12-month period of continuous employment. An employer must grant an employee time off for dependents with full remuneration.
Although the Compassionate Leave form may differ from employer to employer, the Labour Act allows the Minister to prescribe a form and manner in which Compassionate Leave may be applied for by an employee, and any other information that may be required to support the application.
DOES COMPASSIONATE LEAVE FORM PART OF ANY OTHER LEAVE?
Compassionate leave does not form part of any other leave (sick leave, maternity leave or annual leave), nor does it entitle an employee to any additional remuneration upon termination of employment. Compassionate Leave lapses at the end of each 12-month period of continuous employment, if it is not used during that cycle.
WHO IS DEFINED AS FAMILY UNDER COMPASSIONATE LEAVE?
Section 25 (5) defines “family” as a child, including a child adopted in terms of the law, custom or tradition; spouse; parent; grandparent; brother or sister of the employee; or father-in-law or mother-in-law of the employee.