When can someone take family responsibility leave?

The Department of Labour offers basic guides to key topics within labour legislation. Read on for our summary of Family Responsibility Leave.

What is Family Responsibility Leave?

Workers may take up to 3 days of paid leave a year to attend to certain family responsibilities.

Who does it apply to:

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies to all employers and workers, but not members of the:
 - National Defence Force,
 - National Intelligence Agency, or
 - South African Secret Service; or
 - Unpaid volunteers working for charity.

The section of the Act that regulates working hours does not apply to:
 - Workers in senior management
 - Sales staff who travel and regulate their own working hours
 - Workers who work less than 24 hours in a month
 - Workers who earn more than an amount stated in terms of section 6 (3) of the Act
            - Workers engaged in emergency work are excluded from certain provisions.
 - Workers engaged in emergency work are excluded from certain provisions.

Workers Excluded from Family Responsibility Leave:

The provisions for family responsibility leave do not apply to workers who work less than:
 - 4 months for their employer
 - 4 days a week for one employer
 - 24 hours a month, or to
 - leave over and above that provided for by the Act.

The number of Leave Days:

Full-time workers may take 3 days of paid family responsibility leave during each annual leave cycle (12-month periods from the date of employment).
Family responsibility leave expires at the end of the annual cycle.

Reasons for Leave:

You may take family responsibility leave:
 - When your child is born
 - When your child is sick
 - In the event of the death of your
 - Spouse or life partner
 - A parent or adoptive parent
 - Grandparent
 - Child or adopted child
 - Grandchild
 - Sibling


Employers may require reasonable proof of the birth, illness or death for which a worker requests leave.

Source: South African Department of Labour