Hours and Days of Work

The law permits an employee to work to a maximum of six days a week. (Section 19 (2) (a) ELRA)

An employee may be permitted or required to work 45 hours in any week and nine hours in any day. However, in certain circumstances provided by law, an employer and employee can enter an agreement which requires an employee to work up to twelve hours in a day, inclusive of any meal interval without receiving overtime pay. (Section 19 (2) (b), (c) and Section 21 (1) ELRA)

The law provides that there is atleast 24 hours of rest in a week. The law does not stipulate when this rest is to be taken and therefore, the employer can set a schedule for the employee to rest on any particular day of the week as long as they have the required weekly rest period. (Section 24(1), (2) ELRA)

Overtime is defined as work over and above the ordinary work hours. (Section 18(b) ELRA). There are several stipulations provided by the law

  • An employee is only supposed to work a maximum of 50 overtime hours in a four week cycle
  • An employer and employee must agree to the overtime
  • An overtime agreement may not require an employee to work more than 12 hours in any day
  • An employer is supposed to pay not less than one and one half times the employee’s basic wage for any overtime worked. (Section 19 (3), (4) and (5) ELRA)
Can any employee do night work?

Night work is defined as the hours between 2000hrs (08:00 PM) and before 0600hrs (06:00 AM). Any employee may do night work except:

  • Pregnant employees who are two months to the expected due date or who produce a medical certificate that she is not fit to work
  • Mothers, for a period of 2 months after the date of birth or before that if the mother requests to work and produces a medical certificate to that effect or after 2 months if she produces a medical certificate that she is not fit to work
  • Children under 18 years
  • An employee who is medically certified as unfit to do night work

Managing Disciplinary matters at the workplace – Warnings