Basic Conditions of Employment laws set maximum working hours and minimum rest and break periods for workers.
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.
Applies to all employers and workers and regulates leave, working hours, employment contracts, deductions, payslips, and termination.
Maximum Working Hours
|Number of days worked per week||Maximum|
|1 – 5||9||45|
|more than 5||8||45|
Based on Legislation in Section 9, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Compressed Working Week
Workers may agree, in writing, to work up to 12 hours a day without getting overtime pay. However, these workers may not work more than –
- 45 ordinary hours a week
- 10 hours’ overtime a week
- 5 days a week
Based on Legislation in Section 11, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Averaging of Working Hours
A collective agreement may allow for working hours to be averaged over a period of up to 4 months. However, workers may not work more than –
- an average of 45 hours a week
- an average of 5 hours’ overtime a week
Based on Legislation in Section 12, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Workers must have a meal break of 60 minutes after 5 hours’ work. A written agreement may –
- reduce meal intervals to 30 minutes
- eliminate meal intervals for workers who work less than 6 hours a day
Based on Legislation in Section 14, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Workers must have a rest period of –
- 12 hours each day; and
- 36 consecutive hours each week (must include Sunday, unless otherwise agreed)
Based on Legislation in Section 15, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Workers working between 18h00 and 06h00 must –
- get an allowance, or
- work reduced hours, and
- have transport available to them.
Based on Legislation in Section 17, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Originally appeared on labour.gov.za 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.