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Can you ask Peter to work overtime during an emergency?

by , 06 November 2014
As an employer, you'll know very well that emergencies can arise at any time.

Just this weekend, Eskom declared a power emergency.

The power utility went into full crisis mode, instituting 'load-shedding' - a safety measure to prevent the grid from going into a total meltdown - after a coal supply silo at Majuba, its second-biggest power plant, cracked and collapsed onto a conveyor, iol reports.

Just like Eskom, your business isn't immune to emergencies.

And the big question is, when an emergency strikes, can you ask your employee Peter, to work overtime to keep things afloat?

Read on to find out the answer.


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Good news, you can ask Peter to work overtime during an emergency
 

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that Section 6(2) read with Section 10(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) makes it clear that if you need work done immediately because of an emergency, you can ask your employee to work overtime, even without an agreement and for more than 10 hours in a week.
 
Let's say you run a general store in a Karoo town that's been flooded. The river bursts its banks and shops on the main road are under threat as water levels rise. Unless you evacuate your shop and remove your stock, it'll all be damaged by the flood.
 
Since this is an emergency, you can ask your employees to work overtime to help you evacuate your shop and remove as much stock as possible.
 
You can implement overtime even if you don't have an agreement and if your staff have already worked 10 hours of overtime in that week. You won't get into trouble in this instance.
 
Now that you know you can ask your employees to work overtime during an emergency, check out Your Essential Guide to Overtime: Everything You Didn't Know About Overtime and More. The guide covers every aspect about overtime.


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