Leave & Absence

Leave When A Child Is Sick?

Family responsibility leave applies when a child is sick - but what is a child?

In a recent case, an employee alleged amongst a long list of woes, that her employer had not given her family responsibility leave, when her daughter had been hospitalised.  The daughter was 28, but the employee still claimed the BCEA provided for family responsibility leave when a 'child' is sick.

It is fair to regard a 'child' as having the usual meaning of the term, that being someone who is less than eighteen years old.  In any event, the BCEA, in Section 1 - definitions, defines a child as 'a person who is under 18 years of age' - so this is a pretty safe bet.

As a matter of interest, the employee lost the case, which also had some interesting other features relating to sick leave - for example, can an employee claiming sick leave because they are too ill to work, utilise this time to go to the Department of Labour to lay a complaint against the employer?

Your answers to our website would make interesting reading - the answwer judged most entertyaining will receive an electronic copy of our Leave and Absence Workbook