Working remotely and additional time pay in South Africa – what you could know

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Working remotely and overtime pay in South Africa – what you need to know


The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted attitudes in the direction of working from residence, with extra corporations, and staff seeing the advantages of mixing and office-based method and dealing remotely.

Over the previous six months, the Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the best way many organisations function and the way they handle their workforces, mentioned Yolandi Esterhuizen, registered tax practitioner & compliance supervisor, Sage Africa & Center East.

“Many companies weren’t effectively ready for such a profound disruption to their regular working preparations and it is just now that they’re starting to know a number of the penalties.

“The pandemic has upended work for a lot of corporations and their staff. In some cases, folks had been requested to do business from home, with out the standard supervision of their managers. In others, household sickness or disrupted education meant that folks wanted to ask their employers for extra versatile working preparations.”

There are additionally the cases the place corporations have wanted to ask employees to work lowered hours due to the monetary pressures of the pandemic, Esterhuizen famous.

On this risky atmosphere, circumstances are ripe for confusion about working hours and additional time pay, and for some possibilities to abuse additional time entitlements.

One employer reported that salaries of some staff doubled underneath lockdown on account of additional time claims. “It’s comprehensible that some key staff would wish to place in additional time on account of the disaster, however such a steep rise within the wage invoice isn’t sustainable,” Esterhuizen mentioned.

So, what does the regulation say about additional time?

The wage charge for additional time is ready at both one and a half occasions the traditional charge or twice the traditional charge, relying on whether or not the additional time was labored on a standard working day, or on a day the worker wouldn’t ordinarily have labored, a Sunday or public vacation.

In accordance with the Primary Situations of Employment Act, corporations can ask the next lessons of staff to work additional time with out compensation:

  • Senior managers;
  • Travelling gross sales employees who regulate their very own hours of labor;
  • Staff who work lower than 24 hours a month for an employer;
  • Staff incomes greater than the annual earnings threshold (presently R205 433.30 a yr).

“Nonetheless, additionally it is essential to assessment what the employment contract says about an worker’s working hours and entitlement to compensation for additional time labored.

“In these occasions, it’s much more essential than earlier than to handle additional time rigorously and to make sure that employment contracts are clear about additional time and regular working hours,” mentioned Esterhuizen.

Ensuring additional time provides worth

As a result of additional time is dear, the contract ought to specify the traditional working hours after which additional time will probably be paid or, within the case of versatile working preparations, the variety of hours that should be labored earlier than additional time will probably be paid, mentioned Sage.

Rewarding staff for duties or initiatives accomplished moderately than hours labored will inspire folks to complete work throughout their regular working day.

Earn a living from home insurance policies should even be particular by way of flexibility of working hours – to which extent flexibility is allowed.

“Managers ought to set honest targets for workers and undertake common efficiency evaluations and discussions to make sure that groups are, so far as doable, getting their work executed of their regular working hours.

“Extra time ought to at all times be authorized by a supervisor beforehand to forestall sudden prices, and to make sure that the additional time actually is critical and provides worth,” mentioned Esterhuizen.


Learn: Can South African staff be pressured to return to the workplace even when they’ll do business from home?

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