Family Responsibility Leave in South Africa

mother holding sick child

Apart from sick leave, parental leave, and annual leave, employees in South Africa are also entitled to family responsibility leave if they meet the necessary requirements. According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997, if an employee has been working for the same employer for more than four months and at least four weeks per day, he/she is entitled to at least three days of paid family responsibility leave during each leave cycle. 

Below we’ll answer the questions we get asked most frequently about family responsibility leave. 

Who is entitled to family responsibility leave?

Employees are entitled to leave if they: 

  • Are covered by the BCEA,
  • Have worked for more than 4 months, and
  • Work at least 4 days per week.

When does family responsibility leave apply?

Employees may take leave:

  • When their child is born,
  • When their child (under the age of 18) is sick, or
  • In the event of the death of their spouse or life partner, parent or adoptive parent, grandparent, child or adopted child, grandchild or sibling.

What proof do employees need to apply?

In some cases, employers may require you to show “reasonable proof” of the birth, illness or death. For example, a death certificate, birth certificate, and/or a medical certificate. 

How many leave days are available?

Employees have 3 days leave in each annual cycle. If you are a domestic worker, and you meet the requirements mentioned above, you have 5 days. Unfortunately, these days cannot be accumulated and they lapse if they are not taken.

If you’d like to know more, or you need any advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].