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

Sectoral Determinations

Sectoral Determination 4 : Clothing and Knitting Sector, South Africa

14. Sick leave


(1) For purposes of this clause "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) An employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave, during every sick leave cycle, equal to the number of days the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks.


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


(4) An employer may, during the employee’s first leave cycle, reduce the employee’s entitlement to sick leave in terms of subclause (2) by the number of days’ sick leave taken in terms of subclause (3).


(5) If during the a sick leave cycle an employee is absent due to incapacity for longer than the number of days sick leave to which he or she is entitled in terms of subclause (2) the employer shall not be required to pay the employee for the excess sick leave taken.


(6) Where an employer in terms of any law pays fees for hospital or medical treatment in respect of an employee, the fees so paid may be set off against the payment of sick leave.


(7) Payment for any period of absence on sick leave to an employee who is employed on piecework or commission work shall be at the rate of not less than the employee’s average remuneration for the last 13 weeks before the start of the sick leave or if a shorter period has been worked, for the number of completed weeks so worked.


(8) Limitation.


An employer is not required to pay sick leave to an employee in terms of this clause—

(a) if the employee has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period and the employee fails to produce a medical certificate stating the nature and duration of his or her incapacity, after having been requested to do so by the employer.

The medical certificate referred to in this subclause must be issued by a medical practitioner or any other person who is certified to diagnose and treat patients and is registered with a professional council established by an Act of Parliament.

(b) if the employer, at the written request of an employee, makes a contribution that is at least equal to that made by the employee, to any fund or organisation nominated by the employee which in the event of the employee’s incapacity in the circumstances set out in this clause would ensure the payment to the employee of an amount not less than the equivalent of his or her wage for any period of such leave in terms of subclause (2).
(c) for any period of incapacity of an employee in respect of which the employer is required by any law to pay to the employee not less than his or her full wage.


(9) Application to occupational accident or diseases


This clause shall not apply to inability to work caused by an accident or occupational disease as defined in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act 130 of 1993), except in respect of any period during which no compensation is payable in terms of that Act.