Mary* wanted to use her family responsibility leave to grieve the passing of her aunt, who she was very close to.
When she put in her application, her employer asked who it was for, and when she said it was for her aunt, he denied it and said she would have to use her annual leave. Mary was upset – her aunt is part of her family!
Scorpion Legal Protection discusses family responsibility leave and how it works.
Scorpion Legal Protection’s advice
Employees who have been working for the same employer for more than 4 months and who work for the same employer for at least 4 days per week are entitled to 3 days’ family responsibility leave per year (with the exception of domestic employees, who are entitled to 5 days).
Family responsibility leave applies when the employee’s child is born, when the employee’s child is sick, or in the event of the death of the employee’s spouse or life partner, or the employee’s parent, adoptive parent, parents-in-law, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.
The employee may take family responsibility leave as a part of a day or a whole day. The employer can demand proof of the event for which the family responsibility leave is being requested, such as a death certificate or medical certificate or a certificate issued by the hospital. The employer does not need to know the cause of death.
Family responsibility leave is in addition to any other leave entitlement, meaning it is over and above your regular annual leave days. In Mary’s case, she is not entitled to take family responsibility leave for her aunt’s funeral.
Although Mary was close to her aunt, it doesn’t fall under the criteria for family responsibility leave. If she wants to take time off, she will have to use her annual leave.
- Family responsibility leave does not accumulate, so whatever you don’t use can’t be carried over to the next year, it expires with the leave cycle.
- Family responsibility leave is available only to employees who have been in employment with the same employer for longer than 4 months, and who work more than 4 days per week for that employer.
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