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In Labour Newsby Pieter16 Comments

Question: May an employee who goes for regular medical check-ups with the doctor claim it as paid sick leave?

Answer: No. If the time spent for the medical check-ups are not significant, it can be agreed that the employee must simply work back the time during the following days. Annual leave or unpaid leave should be utilised in cases where the check-ups result in longer periods of absence.

Brief explanation: In terms of section 23 (1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act employees become entitled to paid sick leave when they are unable to work on account of sickness or injury. The wording suggests that medical check-ups, which are not part of an immediate medical problem requiring attention, are not included in sick leave as contemplated by the Act.

Lourens Roodt for


  1. Staff with Chronic conditions – with monthly or 3 monthly scheduled visits with the Dr/Clinic – does this count as sick leave due to the fact that they are seeing the Dr for a chronic condition (e.g. diabetes)

    1. No, this does not need to be regarded as paid sick leave. Some employers are willing to show some leniency, though. (Where they do so, we would recommend that it is subject to limitations.)

  2. Good day

    An employee informed me today she is not feeling well and an appointment with the doctor has been made for tomorrow, is that sick leave

    1. I suggest you wait for her to return and provide you with a medical certificate. Then you can evaluate and decide.

  3. What if someone goes for ivf treatment can she be fired for absence

    1. Undergoing IVF treatment is a choice a person makes and needs to be planned. The employee will have to apply for leave. Simply staying away without the employer’s permission would amount to misconduct.

  4. If one has a dental appointment to have a tooth procedure done, should this be taken as sick leave or annual leave.

    1. A dental appointment is normally planned. The employee needs the employer’s permission to be absent. The employee can apply for unpaid or annual leave, alternatively make an arrangement to work the time in. It is a different matter if an employee has to undergo an unplanned emergency dental procedure which renders the employee incapable of working – this might be regarded as sick leave.

  5. Good morning
    Is a post operation consultation regarded as sick leave, please advise

    1. As the absence is due to a scheduled appointment (i.e. the employee is not too sick to work) it does not qualify for paid sick leave. It is up to the employer to decide whether it would be paid or not. If the employee is only absent for an hour or two, an employer may be lenient.

  6. I visit the Cardiologist twice a year….It’s mandatory from the Dr….Is that sick leave

    1. No, strictly speaking it does not qualify for paid sick leave. Some employers are willing to regard it as such, though.

  7. If an IOD occur and an employee is from work form work for 14 days on a docters sick note. Can this days be taken from sick leave or is there IOD leave and how does it work and which Act is it.

    1. Reply to James: It must be dealt with in accordance with the Compensation for Occuational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) and will not be regarded as sick leave.

  8. Good Morning
    I have a staff member that goes for cancer follow ups twice a year
    Would this be acceptable as sick keave

    1. Reply to Judy: These are scheduled visits and the employee is not absent due to illness. The employee would not be legally entitled to paid sick leave, but the employer may use its discretion to regard it as such.

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