Even with the quick progression of technology and better record-keeping systems when it comes to employee hours and work done, there nonetheless still exists numerous disputes that arise as a consequence of overtime and Sunday hours worked by an employee. As a general rule, the ordinary hours worked and any overtime or Sunday hours worked by an employee are reflected as totals on that particular employee’s payslip, which then have a correlating value attached to the quantity of the relevant hours worked.

While this may seem straightforward, many employers don’t follow this practice. The consequences usually culminate in an employer having to defend a claim from an employee at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) or another relevant forum.

To address this, the first port of call is Section 33 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). The section makes it compulsory for employers to provide employees with a payslip which details, amongst other things, the details of the two (2) parties and, more specifically, the hours worked by the employee, including ordinary and overtime/Sunday hours as well as the amount paid for same. Far too often, an employee complains about not receiving a payslip, or even if they have received a payslip, they complain that they have been incorrectly paid for the various hours worked.

It is imperative for employers first to know whether there is a specific sectoral determination or collective agreement applicable to them, as this will first and foremost determine how Sundays and overtime will need to be calculated or paid. In the absence of a sectoral determination or collective agreement, the basic rule of thumb is that work not usually done on a Sunday is paid at double (x2) the hourly rate and overtime work is paid at one and a half times (x1.5) the ordinary rate.

These relevant hours worked need to be reflected on the employee’s payslip to ensure accurate payments are made and to avoid a potential dispute that could arise later. In addition to a possible dispute that could arise between an employer and employee, failure to accurately indicate the overtime or Sunday hours worked may be picked up by a Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) inspector, which may then give rise to a compliance order being issued against an employer wherein potential fines may be imposed as a result.

Consequently, employers should ensure, not only for the sake of avoiding unnecessary disputes from their employees but for the sake of providing they are compliant with the relevant labour legislation, that they accurately record and display any overtime or Sunday hours worked on the employee’s payslip along with the correlating rate or total amount of pay for such hours worked.

Article By: Daniel van der Merwe
National Collective Bargaining Coordinator