My employer won’t grant me sick leave, what can I do?

Friday May 3 2019

Caroline Mboijana

Caroline Mboijana 

By Caroline Mboijana

I have been unwell for over two months but my employer will not let me take sick leave. I feel drained and many times struggle to go to work. What should I do? Tina

I am sorry that you’re unwell and that you have to work when you are not at your best. The Employment Act has a provision for sick leave so in the first instance you are entitled to sick leave and your employer is bound by the employment act, 2006.

It is important for you to look after yourself and your well-being. My advice is to share with your employer any and all documentation that you have related to your sickness. In many cases, your physician will also advise on the required time off work that is essential for you to fully recuperate.

It is important that you have the documentation that clearly states that you must be off work in order to recover. If your doctor has not provided this directive, I would first go back to your doctor and explain the additional symptoms that you are experiencing so that s/he is aware of the effects of the medication and advise accordingly.

Once you have this documentation, it is important that you share the same with the employer so that they fully appreciate the seriousness of the situation.
It is important that your employer fully understands the impact that working while unwell has on your health and ultimately if you are unwell you can not perform your duties to the best of your ability.

Many a times with doctor’s directive, employers will abide by the recommendation. After all the risk associated with you having an incident at the workplace is a risk to the company and if it’ is found that the employer has not followed the law, there is a high chance of litigation.

Caroline Mboijana
Managing Director
The Leadership Team (U)