Workers earning less than R172?000 a year can claim from July 1

2011-06-23 00:00

EMPLOYEES are often unaware that they are entitled to certain rights provided for in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (BCEA) by virtue of how much they earn.

Employees earning below an amount determined by the Minister of Labour are legally entitled to be remunerated for overtime worked, work on public holidays and work on Sundays. In other words, employees who earn more than the amount set by the Minister of Labour will not benefit from these provisions and are not entitled to be remunerated therefore.

At present the earning threshold is R149 736 per annum. However, the Minister of Labour recently increased this threshold.

Effective from July 1, 2011, the earning threshold will be R172 000 per annum. This means that from that date employers must ensure that all of their employees earning less than R172 000 per annum are being paid in accordance with the BCEA in so far as overtime work for Sundays and public holidays is concerned.

The definition of “earnings” is important in determining whether an employee falls within the minimum earnings threshold.

“Earnings” means an employee’s regular annual remuneration before deductions.

It excludes contributions made by the employer in respect of the employee. In instances where an employee receives subsistence and travel allowances, achievement awards and payment for overtime worked, this will not be regarded as remuneration for the purposes of calculating the threshold.

Employers are well advised to review their contracts of employment and payrolls before July 1 in order to ensure that those employees who are legally entitled to certain provisions of the BCEA are being paid properly.

In particular, attention should be given to those employees who did not previously enjoy certain benefits because they earned more than R149 736 per annum may now be entitled to these rights because they earn within the new threshold.


*Siobhan Viljoen is an associate partner, employment law department, Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.