Calculation of accrual of annual leave – 1 hour for every 17 hours worked.

An alternative method of calculating annual leave has been provided for in the Act, and it would seem that the intention of the legislator, in providing this alternative method of calculation, was to provide for an easy means of calculating the annual leave for temporary employees, or fixed term employees.               

This method makes provision that the annual leave may be calculated based on one hour of annual leave on full remuneration for every 17 hours on which the employee worked, or was entitled to be paid, or it can be calculated on the basis of one day annual leave on full remuneration for every 17 days on which the employee worked or was entitled to be paid.

This method of accrual may only be applied by agreement with the employee. If there is no such agreement, then the employer is obliged to apply the accrual at the rate are of 1,25 days or 1,5 days monthly, as the case may be.

This may take many different forms – it could involve spreading malicious rumours about the employee or insulting them or degrading them, overloading them with work, continually picking on them, swearing at the employee, using foul and vulgar or abusive language towards the employee, and so on.

Whatever the case, it is unacceptable, and is a violation of the human rights of the employee and a violation of the employee’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. In fact, employers have a duty to protect their employees from harassment as opposed to subjecting employees to harassment.

The employee should keep a note of all incidents, noting the date and time, what the nature of the incident was, and the names of any witnesses. The harasser should then be confronted, and a formal demand written made to the harasser that he immediately ceases the unacceptable behaviour. The employee can state that should the harasser not cease the harassment, the employee will refer the matter to the CCMA for conciliation, and if that fails, the matter will proceed to the Labour Court.

Such correspondence will usually resolve the issue because the harasser knows that he is out of line, and that his actions are unacceptable.