The answer is yes.
Section 25 (5)(1) of the Public Holidays Act 36 of 1994 provides that ‘every employee shall be entitled to at least the number of public holidays provided for in this Act. In terms of section 18 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) provides that (1) An employer may not require an employee to work on a public holiday except under an agreement.
(2) If a public holiday falls on a day on which an employee would ordinarily work, an employer must pay –
(a) An employee who does not work on the public holiday, at least the wage that the employee would ordinarily have received for work on that day;
Maternity leave is considered authorised and legislated leave. Therefore, the employee still enjoys the rights provided in the statutes mentioned above. In light of the above, the employees on maternity leave are not specifically excluded from the two statutes as mentioned above.
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