How are annual leave days calculated?

Friday January 11 2019


By Caroline Mboijana

How are annual leave days calculated? I want to start annual leave but two years later, my supervisor says I don’t qualify for annual leave, isn’t that infringing on my rights? What does the law say? Fiona

Dear Fiona,
The law stipulates that an employee is entitled to seven days rest for every four months of continuous service. This equates to 21 days in a given calendar year.

If we break this down further, it equates to 1.75 days per month.

It is important to clarify that this entitlement is calculated per calendar year. If you started within the year, that is, after January, and worked all the way through to December, your annual leave will be pro-rated.

The actual time you can take leave is after you have come to an agreement with your supervisor.

If you have worked for two years and not taken leave then you have a right to ask your employer to either give you the total annual leave earned and not taken as actually leave away from work or they should pay you for the days earned and not taken.

If your employer refuses to give you the time off and also refuses to pay you, then they are deviating from the law. I would advise against addressing the matter through a lawyer unless you absolutely have it.

My advice is that you discuss the issue with your HR manager so an agreement can be negotiated so that you have a win-win for both parties.

Caroline Mboijana
Managing Director
The Leadership Team (U)
[email protected]