How to make the most of your leave in 2020

‘Cos it’s never too early to start planning leave.

South Africa public holidays

Although you’re probably only just settling into your leave for 2019, there’s no such thing as too soon when it comes to booking more (your boss might beg to differ but let’s ignore that for now/make the most of their festive mood). When it comes to requesting time off you need to be strategic. Like, why use five of your precious leave days when you could choose a week with a public holiday in it and only use four? Big Ambitions have put together a little cheat sheet on how to make the most of your leave in 2020, using South Africa’s public holidays as your guide.

Here are the dates you need to lock in for your leave requests next year:


Leave dates: 2nd and 3rd of January

Total days off: 5

New Year’s Day is on a Wednesday, and although it seems criminal, the 2nd and 3rd aren’t public holidays; they’re regular working days. I know, WTF. Ease yourself into the new year by booking off those two dates and enjoy the last really long weekend you’ll have for a while.


Leave dates: Around the 10th of April

Good Friday is on the 10th of April and you’ll be getting Family Day (Monday the 13th) off too, giving you a four-day weekend. Take a few days off on either end of those dates and it’ll feel like a real holiday.


Leave dates: 28th to the 30th April

Total days off: 9 days

Freedom Day (27th of April) falls on a Monday and Worker’s Day is that Friday. By requesting a meagre three days leave in between you score a whole 9 days off!


Leave dates: 15th of June

Total days off: 4

Youth Day is on a Tuesday this year, so ask for the Monday off and you’ll have an extra-long weekend.

South Africa public holidays


Leave dates: Around the 9th of August

It should be illegal for public holidays to fall on the weekend IMHO. Luckily this Women’s Day, which occurs on a Sunday, rolls over to give us Monday the 10th off. Request the previous Friday and/or Tuesday off to make it a Women’s Weekend.


Leave dates: 25th of September

Total days off: 4 days

September is for driving out to cute rural towns to look at the spring flowers, so it’s important you celebrate the return of warmth by giving yourself an extra-long weekend. Heritage Day, the 24th of September, falls on a Thursday; you know what to do with that Friday.


Leave dates: 14th and 15th, and 17th and 18th of December

Total days off: 9 days

Let’s be real; by this time of year, no one is working properly any more anyway. Milk the mid-week Day of Reconciliation and book two days off on either side as a treat.

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