Over the past few months we have been investigating various aspects of the Namibian Labour Act of 2007. We have to state at this point that we are not qualified labour law experts or lawyers. We work mainly in the area of hiring, rather than firing, but this information is essential and thus we decided to use this platform to make the information available to the public in layman's terms.
Job seekers and employers alike will benefit from having a basic understanding of the Labour Act. Part 17 deals with Minimum Conditions of Employment: Leave.
The minimum number of annual leave days depends on the number of days worked in a week:
An employee who works for:
An employer may determine when the annual leave can be taken , provided that it is not later than 4 months after the end of the annual leave cycle. This can be extended to 6months if the employer and the employee are in agreement.
During annual leave, employees must receive their full, regular payments. Employers are not allowed to pay money in lieu of annual leave except when employment is terminated.
Annual leave cannot be taken at the same time as other types of leave to which the employee is entitled in terms of the Labour Act, such as sick leave, compassionate leave, or maternity leave.
Employees are entitled to one day paid sick leave per month during their first 12 months of employment.
Thereafter, sick leave is calculated over a period of 36months: Employees who work for:
Employees who are absent for more than 2 consecutive days must bring a medical certificate. Otherwise, the employer is not forced to pay for their days of sick leave.
In case of a serious illness or death in the family, each employee is entitled to 5 working days compassionate leave on full pay. This can be taken in case of a child (including adopted children), a spouse, parent, grand parent, brother, sister, mother - in – law or father –in- law of the employee.
After 6 months of continuous service, woman are entitled to at least 12 weeks maternity leave, 4 weeks before the date of confinement and 8 weeks after.
The employee must provide the employer with a medical certificate indicating the expected date if the confinement (before taking the maternity leave and the actual date of confinement ( when she returns to work).
During maternity leave, the provisions of the employment contract remain in force. The employer must continue paying the normal remuneration during maternity leave, except the “basic wage”. The “basic wage” is the remuneration of the employee without allowances, pay for overtime, additional pay for work on Sundays or public holidays, or additional pay for night work. The employee must claim the basic wage from the Social Security Commission.
The maximum amount payable to be set at N$ 6000.00 per month from 2008.
An employer man not dismiss an employee during maternity leave.
Maternity leave may be extended by one month, based on the certified recommendation of medical practitioner.
(for further information, see sections 23-27 of the Labour Act.)