What Happens if Illness Strikes on Your Day Off?

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Section 59 of the Employment Act is read as below:

(1) Every employee shall be allowed in each week a rest day of one whole day as may. be determined from time to time by the employer, and where an employee is allowed more than one rest day in a week the last of such rest days shall be the rest day for the purposes of this Part:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply during the period in which the employee is on maternity leave as provided under section 37, or on sick leave as provided under section 60F, or during the period of temporary disablement under the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1952, or under the Employees Social Security Act 1969.

The law says every employee must get one day of rest each week. This is called a ‘rest day’.

Usually, the employer chooses which day will be the rest day for each employee.

Employees who get sick on their rest day can take a ‘paid-sick leave’ instead. Paid-sick leave means they still get the day off work but with pay.

So if Alex’s rest day usually is Sunday, but he gets sick that day, he can take sick leave from work on Sunday and still get paid.

His rest day does not get lost or moved to next week. The sick leave replaces it, so Alex still gets a paid day off.

There is no provision for an additional or replacement rest day if an employee is ill on their pre-assigned rest day.

The provision ensures every employee gets at least one day to relax each week, whether sick or not.

So, in summary – each employee gets one rest day per week, and if they are ill on their rest day, they can take sick leave instead so they don’t miss out on the day off. The sick leave replaces the rest to ensure the employee gets a paid day to rest and recover.


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