Often employees are asked to work on public holidays, whether it be by specific arrangement or by virtue of a rotating shift system. Section 18 (1) of the BCEA makes specific provision for such arrangements if the employee consents to working on the public holiday. It may happen that after an agreement to work on a public holiday has been concluded, the employee falls ill or is injured and is no longer able to work as agreed. For all intents and purposes the agreement to work on the public holiday renders that day an ordinary working day. The employee is accordingly entitled to submit a medical certificate towards a claim of paid sick leave.
Under section 18 (2) of the BCEA, if a public holiday falls on a day on which an employee would ordinarily work, an employer must pay an employee who does not work on the public holiday at least the wage that the employee would ordinarily have received for work on that day; and an employee who does work on the public holiday at least double the amount referred to in paragraph (a).
However, under section 22 (5) of the BCEA which deals with sick leave the Act goes on to read that an employer must pay an employee for a day's sick leave the wage the employee would ordinarily have received for work on that day.
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