Sick leave refers to an employee’s leave of absence from the workplace to address his/her health needs without losing pay. Sick leave is intended for health-related purposes.
HOW MANY SICK LEAVE DAYS IS AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO?
Section 24 (1) of the Labour Act entitles an employee to 30 days of sick leave if he/she has worked five days during a week, or 36 days if the employee has worked 6 days during the week. Employees should note that this leave entitlement is applicable for a sick leave cycle of 36 months which means, sick leave is not calculated on an annual basis but on a three-year basis. An employee is also entitled to one day’s sick leave for every five weeks (26 days) worked during his/her first year of employment. After the first year of employment, an employee may accrue up to 30 to 36 days of sick leave in one sick leave cycle (36 leave).
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT WORK A FIXED NUMBER OF DAYS IN A WEEK?
If an employee does not ordinarily work a fixed number of days per week, they are entitled to sick leave calculated annually, based on the average number of days worked per week over the previous 12 months.
WHEN IS AN EMPLOYEE NOT ENTITLED TO PAID LEAVE?
An employee is not entitled to a remunerated sick leave in circumstances where he/she has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days and fails to produce a medical certificate by a medical practitioner or any other proof of illness as evidence.
DOES SICK LEAVE AFFECT ANY OTHER LEAVE?
Sick leave does not form part of annual leave, compassionate leave, and maternity leave. In other words, sick leave may not be substituted for any other leave, however, it is customary practice for annual, compassionate, or maternity leave to be converted to sick leave if an employee felt sick during any other leave and provides the employer with a medical certificate upon return to work.
Additionally, sick leave does not entitle an employee to any additional remuneration on termination of employment.