26 May

Eagerly signing a new contract of work without properly revising your basic conditions of employment is like shooting yourself in the foot. Keep in mind that you have family and personal responsibilities that needs your attention while, there are other days where you may not be feeling well or just need to take time off and rest.

In this blog, UASA helps you to look at some of the key basic conditions of employment that you must always consider before signing a new work contract.

Sundays, Public holidays and off days

  • Your work contract states the number of days and hours that you are intended to work in a week. While, most employees do not usually work on a Sunday, your employer might request you to work some Sundays and if you work on Sunday then you must be paid a double on your normal hourly wage.
  • If you normally work on a Sunday, then your employer must still pay a premium – one-and-a-half time the employee’s wage for each hour worked according to section 16 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).
  • While, most people do not usually work on public holidays, if you must work on a public holiday then it must be agreed upon with your employer. If you do not work, you should still be entitled to your ordinary remuneration for that day.
  • According to section 15 of the BCEA, your employer must allow you at least 12 consecutive hours daily rest between ending and recommencing work.
  • An employee must also be allowed a weekly rest period of at least 36 consecutive hours.

Annual leave

  • You and your employer may agree that the employee will be entitled to one day of paid annual leave for every 17 days that you work or are entitled to be paid.
  • Annual leave must be granted not later than 6 months after the end of the annual leave cycle.
  • Keep in mind that your employer cannot demand that the employee take annual leave during the period of the employee’s family responsibility leave.

Sick leave

  • Sick leave cycle is a period of 36 months employment with the same employer. During every sick leave cycle, you are entitled to six weeks paid sick leave.
  • In terms of section 23(1) of the BCEA, an employer is not required to pay an employee if the employee has been absent from work for more than 2 consecutive days or on more than 2 occasions during an 8 week period if the employee does not (at the request of the employer) provide a medical certificate stating the employee was unable to work for the duration of the employee’s absence on account of illness or injury.

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