HR & Personnel Practitioners

Employee leave

This topic contains 1 reply, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Sean Bowes 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #40844

    Hi guys…. would like to get some insight into the matter below:

    An employee who was involved with a hijacking outside work premises was allowed 3days compassionate leave. Would any leave taken further from that be regarded as sick or annual leave? Also bear in mind that she has been seeking counselling during this period.

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  • #40852

    Hi Nadia, my opinion on this would be: This depends on your compaany policy. BCEA provides employees with 3 days family responsibility leave, 30 days sick leave for a 3 year period as well as a specified amount of annual leave. From these basic conditions, employers, at their discretion can enhance these for the benefit of their employees. An example, in my previous company, employees were entitled to 14 days of family responsibility leave that they could use for all sorts of things.

    There are other companies that provide employees with special leave at the Managing Director’s discretion.

    My advise would be to refer to your company leave policy and review whether it does make mention of discretionay / special leave.

    I would think it would be ‘unfair’ to deduct the leave that this employee may take to attend counselling sessions etc, from her annual leave as this is an unusual situation and it is not her ‘fault’.

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  • #40851

    Thanks Nokwazi, our policy stictly provides leave according to the BCEA but the director of our compnay states that the leave be regraded as annual but the employee disagrees hence my predicament.
    Thanks again for the clarification.

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  • #40850

    It is my view that because of the exceptional circumstances, Management has a discretion to detrmine whether the leave should be special paid leave or not. Management could negotiate with the Employee to determine a fair practice. Manageent should be cautious about creating a precedent and also must be cautious not to breach its usual Policies for such cases. If the Employee is receiving Counselling and obtains a valid medical certificate recognised by the Company, then it would uually be considered Sick Leave. If the Employee’s Sick Leave hasn’t been exhausted it will be paid Sick Leave (provided a valid medical certificate is obtained). Hope this is of some guidance to you.

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  • #40849


    With a sick note from her Doctor, and even from the Counsellor, it will go under Sick Leave. The compassionate leave can also be diverted into Sick Leave for best practices. You must remember this Employee is currently suffering from an emotional side effect of the hijacking. It is deemed as the same as depression and stress – which constitute with the correct Doctor or Counsellor Letter Sick Leave.

    To provide her with leave and saying it is annual leave, is harsh and personally since I am coming out of a background of Organized Labour, it is very very unfair to take this from her annual leave. She is suffering emotionally that is warrant under Sick Leave. When her sick leave is exhausted, then only can it be given as either annual leave or unpaid leave. I will also suggest that the 3 days given to her as compassionate leave, either be converted to sick leave or stay the same, but it CAN NOT be regarded as her entitled Family Responsibility leave.

    Hope this will assist.


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  • #40848

    Hi Bianca,

    This discussion has given me much insight into the way we can view leave and what can be deemed as reasonable.
    I am fairly new to the HR industry and still getting my grasp on things. All this info is of great help.
    Thanks guys!!!

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  • #40847

    Arrie Venter

    Hi Nadia
    I would argue the point of what would happen if i was in an accident and it was not my fault?? How would this be could be just as nerve racking as been hi-jacked, people could have died in the accident and i could have not been hurt……would the off time then be seen as sick leave or compassionate leave ?? Would the councelling be seen as the same as been in a hi-jacking or rather the time off for this processes.
    There are a few orther points to look at here;
    1. Was the employee still on duty. ( Lots of the companies have insurance that covers employees for a certain period from and to the work place)
    2. What was the employee’s sick leave rocord like.
    This leave should be sick leave and if there is not enough the employee can use the annual leave (after discussions with management) then it would be unpaid leave!! The sick leave would then only be granted if the doctor or councillor are registered as per the legislation. The company would open the process to misuse and a precedent would be open for other employee’s to abuse if it is not in their policies and procudures. (The law does not define the matters for the use of sick leave …just the certificate criteria) Then you have not said if your company may be under the juridiction of a bargaining council where there may be an agreement which could cover this type of incident.
    The labour unions will have a field day if there are not strict ways of dealing with your matter…..we must and this is my opinion….. remember that annual leave, sick leave and any other form of leave is also a financial matter to any company. Yes there will be people saying that it is the companies social responsiblity to assist the employees, where do we as a company start and where do we stop….who do we help and bend the rules for and then for what incident do we give and for what dont we give? The example i have given at the top my be more traumatic for some people than a hi- jacking……where and who decides the actual degree of stress and emotion.
    My way of dealing would be the law and then the company would be safe.
    I would really like to hear how you resolved your issue.

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  • #40846

    Hi Nadia

    if it were my company I’d sit down with the employee and show compassion for her ordeal but stress the importance for normal life to resume.. If she is seeking counseling encourage that but the sessions will obviously be scheduled once a week or so.
    I’d be flexible to accomodate her taking an hour a week for Counselling at least for a two month period (as part of Sick leave)..

    in this very emotional time show compassion and reason, hopefully it will be repaid with loyalty in future..remember the other staff are always watching as well..

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  • #40845

    Hi Nadia

    It is important to follow your company leave policy, as any deviations could set a precedent that employees in future could abuse. However, I would suggest that the respective employee be booked off sick as she needs more time to recover, and then use that as sick leave.

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