Know Your Rights and Duties

The rights of an employee are:
Although these rights and duties may be decided and agreed by employers and employees, they have to be compliant with the law. The basic legal rights of an employee are:

  • To work no more than 45 hours per week (9 hours a day or 8 if their working week is 6 or more days of the week)
  • To work no more than 12 hours of work per day and no more than 10 hours of overtime per week.
  • To receive compensation of time and a half the daily wage for week days or double the wage for Sundays or Public Holidays.
  • To take an hour’s break after every 5 hours of work (if they work 6 hours or less a day, they may choose to forfeit this.)
  • 21 days annual leave or a day for every 17 days worked.
  • 6 weeks of sick leave over a period of 36 months.
  • 3 days of family responsibility leave in the following instances:
    • At the birth of a child, when a child is ill, when a child is adopted.
    • When a spouse, life partner, parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling dies.
  • 4 months or less maternity leave (paid or unpaid as agreed).
  • To not work for 6 weeks after their child was born.
  • To claim from UIF if they do not receive a full salary while on maternity leave
  • To receive a payslip
  • To work in an environment that is safe and conducive to health
  • Not be sexually harassed in any way
  • Not be forced to have an HIV test unless authorised by the Labour Court

The duties of an employee are:

  • To cultivate a healthy working relationship with employers and colleagues.
  • To obey instructions and rules within the constraints of the law.
  • To be honest and respectful.
  • Not to divulge confidential information
  • To refrain from misconduct, at the risk of being dismissed. This includes:
    • Being dishonest
    • Gross negligence
    • Being drunk or hungover
    • Revealing company secrets
    • Damaging employer’s property
    • Persistently being idle
  • To perform tasks that were agreed to efficiently
  • Further the employer’s business interests
  • Avoid personal interests that could conflict with the employer’s interests. For example employment with a competitor.
  • Not to tamper with or remove safety objects at the employer’s premises
  • To report conditions that are unhealthy or unsafe
  • To provide notice should they wish to terminate the employment agreement
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