South Africa Employment Act

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 TimeTec 0 Comments

Employment laws in South Africa are designed to ensure that employees are treated fairly in the workplace. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) sets out regulations and requirements that employers must comply with.
Working Hours
Maximum Working Hours Per Week = 45 hours

Lunch Breaks

• Compulsory Break after 5 hours of consecutive work
• Lunch Break is unpaid and personal time
• 1-hour minimum by statutory
• An employee is to be compensated if required to work on lunch breaks and within valid reason

An employer may have an agreement with the employees to reduce the break to 30 minutes if working hours are not meeting the respective threshold.

Overtime shall only be performed in the voluntary agreement between employees and employers. An employer is not allowed to force an employee to perform overtime or demand overtime to be non-compensated.

Overtime Remuneration
For employees working on the ordinary schedule:

For employees working on Sunday as ordinary schedule:

An employee may in a written agreement choose to have paid time off instead of wages or in a combination of both.

Public Holidays

Annual Leave

Annual Leave Entitlement = 21 consecutive days of paid leave per annual leave cycle

Employees who work for 24 hours or more per month are entitled to paid annual leave for every 12 months cycle working for the same employer.

An employee may accumulate leave and take it in consecutive days while the employer must grant it within 6 months from the end of the annual leave cycle.

If both the employer and the employee agree, the employee may instead choose:
• 1 day of annual leave for every 17 days worked or;
• 1 hour of annual leave for every 17 hours worked
Employers should also be mindful that:
• Annual leave not taken during the annual leave cycle is automatically carried to the next cycle.
• In the event that public holidays fall on the day of an employee’s annual leave, the employee will then be entitled to an additional day of paid annual leave.
• During termination of employment, employers must pay for any unused annual leave to the employee.

Sick Leave

Sick Leave Entitlement = 30 days of paid leave in the period of a 3 years cycle

An employer is not allowed to limit an employee to take only 10 days per year.

However, an employer may demand an employee for a medical certificate provided by a professional before paying an employee who is:
• Absent from duty for 3 consecutive days or more. If the employee does not provide the medical certificate, the employer is entitled to treat the absence as unpaid leave.
• Absent for more than 2 individual days within the span of an eight-week period. For any further absence, the employer is entitled to treat that absence as unpaid leave if a medical certificate is not provided.
The said employee is not entitled to request that the absence be taken as paid annual leave.

New employees who have worked less than 6 months of employment are entitled to:
• 1 day of sick leave for every 26 days worked
• After serving the company for a 6 months period, the employee will then be entitled to 30 days of sick leave and deduct any balance taken during the first 6 months.
This balance will then last for the remaining  2 years and 6 months of the 3 years period.

Maternity Leave
Maternity Leave = 4 consecutive months of paid leave

An employee is allowed to start her maternity leave four weeks before the expected date of birth with compulsory prior written notice to the employer. Otherwise, the maternity leave will start from the date that the medical professional certifies.

A mother may not return to work for 6 six after giving birth unless a medical professional certifies that she is fit enough to return.

In the event of a miscarriage during the period of an employee’s third trimester or bears a stillborn child, she is entitled to six weeks of maternity leave after the miscarriage.

An employer has the obligation to keep the employee’s job and is also not allowed to dismiss the employee due to pregnancy or any reason in relation to pregnancy.

Paternity Leave

Paternity Leave = 10 days of paid leave

A father of a child/adoptive child under the age of 2 is entitled to paternity leave which is expected to be taken within the 4 months of a child’s birth or adoption.
Parental Leave
Parental Leave = 10 consecutive days of unpaid leave

An employee is entitled to take parental leave during the birth of a child, adoption of a child or when a child is placed in the care of the respective employee by the court.

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement Leave = 3 days of paid leave

In the event of a death of a close family member such as spouse/life partner, parent/adoptive parent, grandparent, child/adopted child, grandchild or sibling, an employee is entitled to bereavement leave.

Adoption Leave
Adoption Leave = 10 weeks consecutively of unpaid leave

Adoption leave is only entitled to one of the parents. When one of the adoptive parents has taken the adoption leave, the other may only take parental leave.

Family Responsibility Leave

Family Responsibility Leave = 3 days paid leave annually

Employees who served in the company more than 4 months and work at leave 4 days per week are eligible for family responsibility leave.

Family responsibility leave can be taken by the employees for family emergencies such as:
• Employee’s child is born
• Attending illness of their child, spouse, family member or dependent
• Death of an employee's close family member
• Any family-related responsibilities as agreed by the employer
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*Disclaimer: The above article is meant for general information only and is not intended to be used as legal advice. TimeTec has no obligation or responsibility concerning any actions taken based on the provided information.

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