The Six Employee Rights you Should Know About

Employee rights… it’s an important and often times forgotten topic of discussion. In this article we are going to unpack the 6 most important employee rights that need to be understood and implemented.

  1. Remuneration (money talks)

 Everyone works for a pay check. We give our pound of flesh for a pound of cash.

The rights that employees have is simple, get paid on time. It’s incredibly important that employees get paid in South African Rands, no later than 7 days after payment period.

  1. Lunch breaks

 We are not robots… humans can’t work all day, every day without some off time. Lunch has therefore become a sacred ritual to mental and emotional well-being. Not only are your employees blowing off some steam, but they are also energising themselves with nutrients and energy.

In South Africa employees are entitled to a 60-minute lunch break for every 5 hours of work. If you require only a 30-minute lunch break, it must be done with written consent.

  1. Overtime

This is always a tricky conversation to have with your employees. Yes, overtime is part and parcel of most normal business procedures, but it needs to be done within reason.

In South African employment regulations, overtime is only allowed when both parties are in agreement and is less than 10 hours per week.

  1. Leave

In South Africa employees are entitled to the following leave allowances*:

  • Annual leave: 21 days a year
  • Sick leave: 2 weeks in 1 year
  • Maternity leave: 4 consecutive months
  • Family responsibility: 3 days a year

* there might be slight variances depending on the company, culture and industry.

  1. Working hours

There are certain hours that are considered humane and others that are considered illegal. Common practice is 9 hours per day for 5 days or less and 8 hours per day for between 5 and 7 days.

  1. Termination

Termination is always a tough decision, but in certain economic climates, layoffs are unavoidable. What are the rules around contract termination?

  • 1 week notice period if worked for 6 months or less
  • 2 week notice period if worked for between 6 and 12 months
  • 1 months’ notice period if worked for more than a year

As Refilwe rightfully said, we need to look after our employees, because they look after our business. These are the 6 most important rights that an employee should be entitled to.

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