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Basic Guide to Overtime

Basic Guide to Overtime

The amount of overtime a worker may work is limited.  Workers must get 1.5 times their normal hourly pay or paid time off in exchange for overtime.


The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies to all employers and workers, but not –

  • members of the –
    • National Defence Force,
    • National Intelligence Agency, or
    • South African Secret Service; or
  • unpaid volunteers working for charity.

The section of the Act that regulates working hours does not apply to:

  • workers in senior management
  • sales staff who travel and regulate their own working hours
  • workers who work less than 24 hours in a month
  • workers who earn in excess of an amount stated in terms of  section 6 (3) of the Act
  • workers engaged in emergency work are excluded from certain provisions.

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Applies to all employers and workers and regulates leave, working hours, employment contracts, deductions, payslips, and termination.

Overtime Hours

Workers may not work –

  • overtime, unless by agreement
  • more than 10 hours’ overtime a week (collective agreement may increase this to 15 hours per week for up to 2 months a year)
  • more than 12 hours on any day

Based on Legislation in Section 10of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Pay for Overtime

Employers must pay workers overtime at 1.5 times the normal hourly wage. Alternatively, a worker may agree to receive paid time off or a combination of pay and time off.

Based on Legislation in Section 10of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

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Originally appeared on on 06-08-2012. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of estome. estome accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the article, nor does the information contained herein constitute advice, legal or otherwise.

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