Conditions of Employment

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Pay for work on Sundays

By André Claassen

 

Basic Conditions of Employment

16. Pay for work on Sundays

 

(1) An employer must pay an employee who works on a Sunday at double the employee’s wage for each hour worked, unless the employee ordinarily works on a Sunday, in which case the employer must pay the employee at one and one-half times the employee’s wage for each hour worked.

 

(2) If an employee works less than the employee’s ordinary shift on a Sunday and the payment that the employee is entitled to in terms of subsection (1) is less than the employee’s ordinary daily wage, the employer must pay the employee the employee’s ordinary daily wage.

 

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), an agreement may permit an employer to grant an employee who works on a Sunday paid time off equivalent to the difference in value between the pay received by the employee for working on the Sunday and the pay that the employee is entitled to in terms of subsections (1) and (2).

 

(4) Any time worked on a Sunday by an employee who does not ordinarily work on a Sunday is not taken into account in calculating an employee’s ordinary hours of work in terms of section 9(1) and (2), but is taken into account in calculating the overtime worked by the employee in terms of section 10(1)(b).

 

(5) If a shift worked by an employee falls on a Sunday and another day, the whole shift is deemed to have been worked on the Sunday, unless the greater portion of the shift was worked on the other day, in which case the whole shift is deemed to have been worked on the other day.

 

(6) (a) An employer must grant paid time off in terms of subsection (3) within one month of the employee becoming entitled to it.

 

(b) An agreement in writing may increase the period contemplated by paragraph (a) to 12 months.

   

Commentary

If an employee normally works on a Sunday, as is the case with most 24/7 employers, then for the Sunday work the employee must be remunerated at 1, 5 times his normal wage rate.

 

The fact that the Sunday work is his normal shift does not exempt the employer from paying the employee for the Sunday time at the premium rate.

 

If the employee does not normally work on a Sunday, but is required to do so, then he must be remunerated at twice his normal wage rate for the Sunday worked.

 

It may happen that the employee does not work a full shift on the Sunday, and therefore the remuneration at 1, 5 times or twice the normal wage rate may amount to less than the employee’s normal daily rate.

 

In such a case, the employee must be paid his normal daily rate.

 

Compensation for Sunday work may also be given in the form of paid time off work, in lieu of cash payment. Sunday time, for an employee who does not ordinarily work on a Sunday, does not form part of his ordinary hours of work in terms of section 9(1), or in terms of his employment contract. In other words, if an employee is contracted to work 45 hours per week, but he has only worked 40 hours for the week for whatever reason, the employer cannot demand that he must work 5 hours on the be Sunday to make up his normal time.

 

The hours worked on the Sunday will still attract the premium rate are of 1, 5 times or double the employees normal wage rate, as the case may be.

 

Conversely, Sunday time worked is taken into account when calculating the overtime hours worked by the employee in terms of section 10.

 

What this means is that if the employee has already worked 5 hours overtime for the week, he may not work more than a further five hours on the Sunday.

 

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