Leave Accrual and Entitlement

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    I wanted to find out from anyone whether as to what the most common practice is around leave accumulation.
    We currently have leave accumulation at the start of the month (basically in advance). We wanting to explore what the best practice is and whether company’s add on leave at the start or end of the month.
    Can you give me an indication please?
    The reason why I am asking is that we have amended our leave policy. Employees are allowed to accrue their leave to a maximum of your entitlement plus 50% in other words if you get 20 days leave you are only allowed to accrue up to 30 days. Anything above that you will forfeit if you don’t take the leave.

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    sylvia hammond

    Hi Venetta,
    Thanks for your interesting query.
    I went back to the BCEA to check the wording & then also checked the amendments to see if there was any change.

    This is what I understand.

    The BCEA refers to the “annual leave cycle”.
    Then says that means 12 months –
    a) at the start of employment, or
    b) the completion of the prior 12 months.s20(1)(a)&(b).

    So you can then credit at the start – or once complete. Crediting at the start makes sense – otherwise when a person takes the odd day or so, they become technically in a minus situation.

    But then I noticed that when you are talking about the situation where you are counting 17 days worked or 17 hours worked, it definitely implies afterwards, because it says “on which the employee worked”.s20(2)(a)(b)(c).

    So my conclusion is that for indefinite (permanent) (without an end date – other than retirement) contracts the 21 consecutive days applies, and can be credited at the start.

    But the 17 days situation would be for short periods, where a full cycle is not expected to happen, or it is uncertain how many will be worked.

    That’s just my opinion.

    Then on accrual – BCEA sets the base of 15 days per annum, and you do not have the flexibility to allow accrual on those 15, because it must be taken within up to 6 months after it becomes due s20(4).

    So if you are entitled to 20, you can only accrue the 5, so to accrue 30 days, would take 6 years.

    If you are entitled to 15, you cannot accrue any at all.

    If you are entitled to 25, you can accrue 30 in 5 years.


    Thank you Sylvia. Much appreciated.

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