Annual Leave and Holidays

Paid Vacation / Annual Leave

Annual leave is regulated by the Labour Code. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 12 working days of annual leave in a year (one day in respect of each month of continuous employment with the same employer).

The general rules on annual leave do not apply to employees who opt to receive a cash payment in lieu to taking only 6 days of the statutory annual leave.

An employee is entitled to full pay i.e. the normal remuneration paid to the employee while availing the annual leave.

The leave is to be taken at such times as may be agreed between the employer and the employee. The employee can take at least six working days’ holiday in a continuous period during the calendar year the holiday is due. Where, under the terms of a contract of employment or a collective agreement, an employee is entitled to more than the statutory minimum number of holiday in any year, the employee may carry over such additional holiday, not exceeding 18 days in all from one calendar year to the next.

Source: §120 of the Labour Code, 1992

Pay on Public Holidays

The legal provisions on public holidays are contained in the Public Holidays Act. The Act enumerates 10 public holidays, which are as follows:

New Year's Day (January 1); Moshoeshoe’s Day (March 11); Heroes Day (April 4); Good Friday; Easter Monday; Ascension Day; Workers’ Day (May 1); King’s Birthday (May 2); National Independence Day (October 4); and Christmas Day (December 25)

The public holidays are paid.

Source: §02 of Public Holidays Act 1995; §121 of the Labour Code, 1992

Weekly Rest Days

The provision in law on weekly rest days comes from the Labour Code, which states that an employee must have a continuous off-duty period of 24 hours per seven days. However this will not apply to undertakings in which only members of the employer’s family (up to a total of five are employed) are working and to persons holding positions of management.

The day specified as a weekly rest day will usually be Sunday unless depending on the circumstances of work the employer (after consulting with the employee) provides a different day in the week.

There is no clear provision on daily rest periods (at the end of a working day). As for rest breaks (during working hours), no employee may be required to work continuously for more than 5 hours without being given a rest of at least one hour.

Source: §117 & 119 of the Labour Code, 1992