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Basic Guide to Annual Leave (Learnerships)

by lloyd last modified 2008-10-01 16:34

Basic Guide to Annual Leave (Learnerships)

The number of credits learners’ earn determines the number of annual leave days.  They may take up to 3 weeks’ continuous leave.  Employers have certain obligations.


  1. The Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships applies to-
    • the employment of a learner –
      • who has concluded a learnership agreement; and
      • who was not employed by the employer party to the learnership agreement when the agreement was concluded; and
    • every employer who employs a learner.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies in respect of any matter not covered by this sectoral determination.


Number of Leave Days

Credits earned by learners determine the leave they are entitled to receive, which is up to 21 consecutive days a year.
Annual leave must be taken either according to an agreement between an employer and a learner, or as determined by an employer according to this determination.

Credits needed for Annual Leave

Learners need to earn more than 120 credits to be entitled to annual leave.
Thereafter they may take 1 week’s paid leave for or for every 4 months worked, whichever is the lesser.

Timing of Leave

Both the employer and the learner must agree on the timing of leave.  If they cannot agree, the employer makes the final decision.
Annual leave is to be taken no later than 4 months after a learner has earned leave.

Reducing Annual Leave

Employers may reduce annual leave by the number of paid occasional leave taken at the request of the learner.

Unpaid Annual Leave

At the request of the learner the employer may grant unpaid annual leave.

Pay Instead of Annual Leave

An employer may not pay a learner instead of granting annual leave except on termination.

Annual Leave Pay

Employers must pay learners the equivalent amount for annual leave as paid for days worked.
Including the cash value of any payment in kind, unless the learner is paid in kind during their leave, excluding -
  • gratuities;
  • allowances that enable a learner to work; and
  • any discretionary payments not related to his work performance.
Learners must be paid before their leave commences.
Employers may not pay learners instead of granting them paid leave.

Annual Leave and Public Holidays

Public holidays may not be counted as annual leave days.

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