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Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997)

Chapter Three : Leave

22. Sick leave


(1) In this Chapter, "sick leave cycle" means the period of 36 months' employment with the same employer immediately following—
(a) an employee's commencement of employment; or
(b) the completion of that employee's prior sick leave cycle.


(2) During every sick leave cycle, an employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks.


(3) Despite subsection (2), during the first six months of employment, an employee is entitled to one day's paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.


(4) During an employee's first sick leave cycle, an employer may reduce the employee's entitlement to sick leave in terms of subsection (2) by the number of days sick leave taken in terms of subsection (3).


(5) Subject to section 23, an employer must pay an employee for a day's sick leave—
(a) the wage the employee would ordinarily have received for work on that day; and
(b) on the employee's usual pay day.


(6) An agreement may reduce the pay to which an employee is entitled in respect of any day's absence in terms of this section if—
(a) the number of days of paid sick leave is increased at least commensurately with any reduction in the daily amount of sick pay; and
(b) the employee's entitlement to pay—
(i) for any day's sick leave is at least 75 per cent of the wage payable to the employee for the ordinary hours the employee would have worked on that day; and
(ii) for sick leave over the sick leave cycle is at least equivalent to the employee's entitlement in terms of subsection (2).