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In Labour News by Pieter39 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. I have a staff member booked of for a month due to an operation not allawed to drive a vehicle in her last week of sick leave she left to visit family in JHB driving from Port Elizabeth Is that allowed on sickleave or not .

    1. If she personally drove the vehicle, it casts serious doubt the validity of the diagnosis. You could consider holding back sick pay until you’ve clarified the matter with the employee and the doctor who booked her off.

  2. I got an employee that had an IOD at work, still going for regular treatments and is being booked of now for 6 months already. Is the employer responsible to pay for his transport to hospital every time

    1. Claims related to an IOD should be dealt with in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). You can check with the Compensation Commissioner, but there should be no legal obligation on an employer to pay for regular transport to the hospital.

  3. pregnant employee who has regular doctors appointments, also due to diabetic matters, with medical ceritificate for each appointment, should they be paid by employer for the day

    1. If it has been scheduled in advance, it is questionable whether she is “was unable to work” due to illness. The employer would have good reason to take it up with the doctor before deciding whether to pay.

  4. I was booked off for the day at my antenatal visit due to exhaustion must I submit annual leave

  5. what leave request should be submitted if employee takes spouse for a medical procedure

    1. That would be unpaid or annual leave. If it were a child, it would be family responsibility leave.

  6. If an employee needs to see a doctor for a medical condition (non-chronic related), but the earliest appointment is only in three weeks, does it count as sick leave. i.e if they could have gone immediately, they would have

    1. Strictly speaking, no, because the employee was not too ill to work. Some employers would be sympathetic in cases like these, though.


    1. If it is a scheduled appointment, the reason for the absence is not due to the employee being to ill to work. She would therefore not be entitled to paid sick leave.

    2. An employee has to go to the clinic every month for chronic deases does this count as sick leave

      1. No, scheduled appointments do not count as sick leave. The employee is not too sick to work.

  8. Good afternoon

    If an employee calls in sick in the morning but is found to be attending private matters during that day ( visit the CCMA to file an appeal relating to a previous disciplinary action) does that constitute dishonesty. In other words can I phone in sick and use my sick day to attend to private matters. (this is not a long term illness but an alleged short term physical illness as the employee was back at wok the following day.


  9. Good-day, we have a weekly paid staff member who visits the clinic for medication every two months. Should she be paid for these days taken off or is it taken as her annual leave.

    1. As she is not to sick to work on those days, she can either take it as unpaid leave or apply that it comes off her annual leave (occasional leave).

  10. 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.)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    2. I needed a emergency extraction on my tooth , do I get paid if the Dr booked me off..

  17. 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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