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The BCEA and employee rights: What you need to know

by , 06 March 2015
The BCEA (Basic Conditions of Employment Act) provides employees with certain minimum rights when it comes to their terms and conditions of employment.

For instance, it says you must offer your employees the following rights:

For instance, it says you must offer your employees the following rights:

- remunerate them for the work done
- give them vacation leave, sick leave, maternity leave and family responsibility leave
- pay them for overtime worked
- ensure lunch breaks
- offer weekly and daily rest periods
- make sure you pay night work allowances (where necessary)
- give them public holidays off or pay them the stipulated amount if they must work

For these reasons, the BCEA also entitles employees to discuss their terms and conditions of employment with each other and as lvan lsraelstam, Chief Executive of Labour Law Management Consulting, explains. So if, for example you discipline your employees for revealing their salaries to each other, this would be contrary to the law.

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Note that the Department of Labour (DOL) is required (with the help of the courts) to enforce this legislation unless the employee in question does not fall under the BCEA (Basic Conditions of Employment Act)'s protection becausehe/she earns above R17 119.44 per month or is a senior manager.

In other words, the DOL employs inspectors who are required to investigate complaints against the employer are also the ones responsible for carrying out routine inspections of the employer's labour law compliance.

These inspections will be made without an advance notice! Do not take the risk of being one of the employers who don't pay for overtime worked!

Pay attention to the fact that the DOL can also prosecute the employer in criminal court if your, for example, employs a child below the age of 15 or if youundermine, hinder or obstruct the work of a labour inspector.

Protect yourself while you don't interfere with your employees' rights!

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