BCEA Family Responsibility Leave

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) gives employers minimum rules and guidelines in terms of managing employees’ leave.

These rules do not apply to employees who work less than 24 hours per month. These rules do not apply to leave which is granted in excess of the minimum leave entitlement according to the BCEA.

Leave Cycle

A family responsibility leave cycle is 12 months long and starts in the month the employee is employed. A family responsibility leave cycle recurs, which means that a new cycle starts at the end of each 12 month cycle.


An employee has to work at least 4 days a week to be entitled to family responsibility leave. An employee is not entitled to family responsibility leave in the first 4 months of employment. An employee must get 3 days leave.

Taking leave

An employee may take family responsibility leave when:

  • the employee’s child is born,
  • the employee’s child is sick or
  • if the employee’s spouse or life partner dies, or
  • if the employee’s parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adoptive child, grandchild or sibling dies.

Payment for leave

You have to pay the employee his/her full salary/wage they would have earned during the period of leave. You may required reasonable proof before allowing family responsibility leave.