The new annual earnings threshold under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), and the Employment Equity ACT (EEA) will be R224,080.48 per year (R18,673 per month) from 1 March 2022. It was R211,596.30 per year (approximately R17,633 per month).

The BCEA and EEA protect vulnerable employees and regulate hours of work, overtime, work over weekends, lunch breaks.

Employees earning less than R18 673 per month are fully protected by the BCEA. They can and should demand overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times, or legally refuse to do more than the 45 hours of work a week. This is going to ruffle some feathers among employers. I personally know of a large company that refuse to pay overtime. They insist on giving time off in lieu of overtime worked.

Employees earning more than the R18 673 per month are not automatically entitled to overtime or weekends off. Their working hours, overtime, weekend work and lunch breaks etc depend entirely on stipulations in their employment contracts.

‘Earnings’ refer the employee’s annual salary before deductions, but it excludes benefits such as subsistence and transport allowances, achievement awards and overtime payments.

Employees who earn less R224 080.48 but more than R211 596.30 are now entitled to overtime payment when they work more than 45 hours per week. They are also entitled to regular breaks and allowances for working at night.

Elsabé Manning, HR & IR Consultant