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Work Times and Pay – BCEA

Work  hours are determined by the basic conditions of employment act

Normal hours as follows:

  • 9 hours for a 5-day week
  • 8 hours a day for a 6-day week.
  • On a shorter working week. The hours may be increased with employees consent.
    • For example, an employee can agree to work shifts of 12 hours over 4 working days.
  • The maximum hours are 45 hours per week for ordinary pay.

See section 9 of the BCEA for variations for farmworkers:

Overtime Hours

Overtime is always voluntary. If agreed upon, the maximum overtime hours must not exceed 10 hours per week.  Overtime must be paid at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s ordinary hourly wage.

Public Holidays

If a employee works the days before and the days after public holidays,  he is entitled to be paid for the public holidays.

  • An employee can agree to work on public holidays; this is voluntary.
  • If an employee does agree to work, they must get a normal working day off in exchange or they must be paid for the public holidays worked.
  • Bear in mind that the employee has already been paid for the public holidays, so if he works on public holidays, he must then be paid for another day. (This is double pay. Be careful you don’t pay 3 x the rate)
  • Pay Solutions will ensure that payment public holidays is correctly handled.

The public holidays are:

1 January  New Year’s Day
21 March Human Rights Day
Good Friday
Family Day
27 April Freedom Day
1 May Workers’ Day
16 June Youth Day
9 August National Women’s Day
24 September Heritage Day
16 December Day of Reconciliation
25 December Christmas Day
26 December Day of Goodwill

Public holidays, payroll, payroll services, work, basic conditions of employment act

Sunday Overtime

  • Payment for Sunday time is double time.
  • If Sunday is included in the employees normal hours i.e. the hospitality trade,  then he or she must be paid at a rate of time and a half his/her normal hourly rate.

Night Shift

  • After 6 pm and before 6 am is voluntary.
  • Employees must be paid an extra allowance or have their working hours reduced.
  • Transport must be available for staff.

Flexibility in working hours

The BCEA allows for some flexibility in the arrangement of working hours, by agreement between the employer and employees (collective agreement) or one worker (individual agreement):

  • Short working week by collective or individual agreement:
  • Employees can work up to 12 hours of normal time on any day without receiving overtime pay.
  • The employees may still not work more than 45 normal hours per week and not more than 5 days in a week.
  • Any time worked beyond 45 hours in the week should be paid at overtime rates.
  •  Averaging of working hours by collective agreement only:
    • Averaging means workers can agree to longer hours than the BCEA usually allows, if they get the same number of extra hours off at a later time. This would for example mean that workers could agree to longer hours in one week for normal pay, if they reduce the hours for normal pay the following week.
  • Workers may still not work more than an average of 45 ordinary hours per week during this period.
  • The agreement may not exceed 4 months.
  • Where reference is made to a collective agreement, then this agreement should be made through the employees’ trade union.