Before you ask your employees to work on a public holiday this festive season, use these two rules to avoid an unfair labour practice case

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 18 Dec. 2014

Tags: work on a public holiday, working on a public holiday, rules for working on a public holiday, public holiday work


While some companies close in December because business is slow, it’s the complete opposite for other companies. The festive season is their busiest time.

And to keep up with the demand, they even require some of their staff to work on public holidays.

But most of the time, these businesses end up with unfair labour practice cases on their hands.

The reason?

They don’t follow the rules for public holiday work. And when this happens, their employees take them to the CCMA.

But you can avoid the same fate.

If you plan to ask your employees to work on a public holiday this festive season, follow these two rules to avoid an unfair labour practice case.


 
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Here are the two rules for public holiday work

 
Rule 1: Don’t force employees to work on a public holiday if there’s no agreement
 
You can only tell your employees to work on a public holiday if you have an agreement with them or their trade union (if they belong to one).
 
If there’s no agreement, you can’t force them.
 
Rule 2: You must pay your employees correctly
 
The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management says if your employees actually work on a public holiday, you must pay them at least double their ordinary daily wage. Or their ordinary daily wage plus the amount they earn for the time they work on that day.
 
Confused?

Let’s assume your employee Sam usually earns R80 a day (eight hours at R10 an hour) and she works for eight hours on a public holiday. She’ll earn R80 (her ordinary wage) plus R80 (the amount she earns that day), i.e. R160.
 
Now that you know about these two rules, use them to make sure your request for public holiday work doesn’t earn you an unfair labour practice case.
 
PS: There’s so much more you still need to know about public holiday work requirements. That’s why we recommend you check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management for more information.


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