Overtime work

In what circumstances can an employee be required to work overtime and what must you pay him or her?

Overtime work

In what circumstances can an employee be required to work overtime and what must you pay him or her?

Overtime and work on public holidays

In terms of The Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (the Act) an employer may not oblige an employee to work overtime (the time that an employee works during a day or a week in excess of ordinary hours of work) on weekends or public holiday except in accordance with a signed agreement. Accordingly, if overtime work is required by business or operational requirements of the Company employees will be only be obliged to work on weekends or public holidays if they agree in writing to do so.

Calculation of overtime rates

These are the basic principals concerning overtime as contemplated by the Act:

  • The Act does not apply to certain categories of employees such as members of the National Defence Force and will not apply to workers in senior management, sales staff who travel and regulate their own working hours and workers who work less than 24 hours in a month or who earn more than an amount gazetted from time to time;
  • No employee will be remunerated for overtime work unless such overtime has been authorised by his or her manager or is required in terms of a work roster;
  • Workers must receive 1.5 times their normal hourly pay or paid time off in exchange for overtime (or a combination of pay and time off);
  • Workers may not work:

o        overtime, unless by agreement

o        more than 10 hours’ overtime a week (collective agreement may increase this to 15 hours per week for up to 2 months a year)

o        more than 12 hours on any day

Remuneration for Overtime Work

Calculation of overtime pay based on a 5 day work week:

  • Employees who work a five day work week are deemed to work 21.67 days per month;
  • The working week consists of 45 ordinary hours per week;
  • The working day is deemed to consist of 9 working hours for which the employee is paid, and a 1 hour meal break which is not paid time.

The formula for calculating the hourly rate of pay is:

Salary ÷ 21.67 (days per month) ÷ 9 (working hours) and  21.67 x 9 = Total working hours per month (195.03 hours)
Calculation of overtime pay based on a 6 day work week:

  • Employees who work a six day work week are deemed to work 26 days per month;
  • The working week consists of 45 ordinary hours per week;
  • The working day is deemed to consist of 7½ working hours for which the employee is paid, and a 1 hour meal break which is not paid time.

The formula for calculating the hourly rate of pay is:

Salary ÷ 26 (days per month) ÷ 7½ (working hours) and  26 x 7½ = Total working hours per month (195 hours)

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