General Labour Law

PASSOP Guide to Minimum Wages by Sector:
At PASSOP we are approached by many people concerned with their labour rights, particularly wage levels and payments owed to them. Please click on the link to our user-friendly guide that outlines the minimum wages for protected sectors in South Africa. This will enable you to work out the minimum wage you must be paid if you are employed in one of these sectors.
Taking a Matter to the CCMA:
At PASSOP, we receive many clients complaining about poor working conditions, bullying, racial discrimination and xenophobia in their work places. Many other clients approach us having been unfairly suspended and dismissed from work by their employers. If you are a worker in dispute with your employer please see our user-friendly guide that walks you through this process.

Outline of Your Legal Rights as a Worker:  

These user-friendly guides outline the provisions of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997), which establishes the labour rights of employees and the duties and responsibilities of employers; Chapter 2 of the Labour Relations Act (1995) which establishes the rights of workers to belong to trade unions, workplace forums and federations of trade unions; and the Employment Equity Act (1998) which outlines what employers should be doing to create equitable working conditions and equitable employment opportunity. If you feel that you have been subjected to violations of these rights by your employer, or are experiencing discrimination in the work place, contact PASSOP: 021 762 0322

Dismissal:

This guide outlines the recommendations in the Labour Relations Act of 1995 and its relevant ammendments on the Code of Good Practice for Dismissals helping you to further understand your rights and the responsibilities of your employer(s) regarding disciplinary proceedings brought against you, and grounds for dismissal.

WHO CAN WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA?

Child labour
o   Children below the age of 15 years may not work. It is against the law to employee children.
o   Children between the ages of 15 and 18 may not perform work that places their well-being, education, or physical and mental health at risk.

Forced labour
o   No one may force employees to work (for example, an employee was unfairly dismissed and was also not paid leave pay). This is a criminal offence.

DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE
There can be no discrimination in the workplace, as outlined in the Employment Equity Act (1998) based on race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic origin, social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, birth, family responsibility, HIV status, or political opinion. None of these characteristics are legal grounds to demote or not promote an employee, to block an employee from having access to training, or to make an unfair distribution of employee benefits to the employee.

SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE
The employer must make sure that the workplace is safe and healthy, and must not allow any employee to do work which is potentially dangerous. The employee must know what the dangers of the work are. The general duties of the employer are to:

  • choose safety representatives
  • consult with the employees’  trade union about the safety representatives
  • inform employees of the dangers in the workplace
  • reduce any dangers to a minimum before issuing protective clothing
  • issue protective clothing where necessary
  • give necessary training to employees who use dangerous machines or materials, to make sure they know the safety precautions
  • prevent employees from using or working with dangerous materials or machines, unless all the necessary safety rules have been followed
  • ensure that dangerous machines are in good working order and are safe to work with
  • make sure that dangerous machines carry warnings and notices
  • make sure that someone who knows the work is supervising the operations to ensure the safety of the employees
  • keep the workplace open so that employees can escape from danger if necessary
  • not move any evidence of an accident before an inspector has given permission, unless someone has been badly injured and needs treatment

The Chief Inspector can ask any employer for a report of the safety precautions.  An employer cannot take action against any workers who do the following:

  • give information about their conditions at work or that the Act says they have to give
  • give evidence in court
  • respond to any request of an inspector
  • refuse to do anything that is against the law

The employer must keep a report of all accidents and safety or health incidents in the workplace. The employer must report certain accidents or incidents to the safety representative and to the Department of Labour.

The employer must appoint one safety representative for every 20 employees. There must be at least one representative for every 50 employees. The employer must explain to the employees’ organisation what responsibilities the safety representatives will have and how the representatives will be selected.
In every workplace where there are two or more safety representatives there must also be a safety committee. This committee must meet at least every three months. The committee must deal with all safety and health issues that affect employees. The safety committees have certain functions and powers. You can find out more about these in the Act or by contacting the Department of Labour.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
Everyone has a right to a safe working environment which includes not being harassed. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct. The conduct can also be victimization where a person gets victimized for failing to respond to sexual advances and the intention is to humiliate him or her; or sexual favouritism – ‘rewards’ for sex.

Conduct involving sexual harassment should be reported to the employer as soon as is reasonably possible and without delay. The employer must consult the parties, take steps to address the complaint, and take steps to stop the sexual harassment.  We have created a user-friendly guide that walks you through this process.

24 responses to “General Labour Law

  1. I’m a victim of my company because of trying to practice my rights.im a worker dealing with dangerous goods and machinery mainly the granite and sme dangerous chemicals like pocx.we dnt have access to protective clothing,denied launch breaks working extra hours and not paid etc.Its totaly abusive n neglegence! I’m implying whether PASSOP can help the illtreated workers like me please we have suffered a lot!The company’s name is Granite Focus,please help I will dealt apriciate your act against this!

    • Hello Silwimpi Nester,

      Hello Silwimpi Nester,

      Thank you for your comment and I am very sorry for your hazardous working conditions.

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and if you fit into this category, we may be able to assist you.

      In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  2. I have problem with my manager,his treating me badly last time i ask him to help me about the funeral at home he told me that according to the law i musn’t go home because is not my mother’s funeral and he telling me lot of things at work and now i heard enough i am no longer at work,he can swear at me,telling me tha jy viet fokol,i am trying to resign on top of that sometimes we work overtimes but no pay and he say i’ll give you extra day for that hours,please help me.

    • Hello Mohlalek,

      We understand your struggles and may be of assistance. PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and we may be able to assist you. In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  3. Hi! I have try to report my boss at department of Labour in Limpopo province (Louis Trichardt) but I didn’t get any help. My Boss doesn’t follow contract of employment, and he doesn’t provide safety clothes to the employees. He doesn’t give IRP5 forms to the employees, they earn less than R2500 but when we call SARS office they told us we ow Tax(SARS). I think he has double file, and he has illegal security guards inside the shop. please help us, Thank you for your time.

    • Hello William,

      Are you based in Cape Town?

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants. If you would like assistance and fit into this category, we may be able to assist you. It would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

    • Hello Melissa,

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants. If you would like assistance and fit into this category, we may be able to assist you. It all depends on the situation and if you are a South African employer, the conditions may change. It would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  4. My whistle blowing documents has stolen inside the locked truck in the employer’s premises,when I report the accident to the management he said he needed my identity TRUE the telephone.i have been dismissed for not submitting a copy of certified identity document.

    • Hello Lekhoakhoa,

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants. If you would like assistance and fit into this category, we may be able to assist you. It would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that our paralegal advisors may help you with your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  5. Morning
    I would like to find ou if you do have offices in Durban, as I have notice there are lot of companies this side who are still looking down on their employees right, if so Please advice of the office contact Numbers and location.

    • Hello Mbali,

      Unfortunately we only have our office in Cape Town. If you ever have a chance to make it down here to visit, our office is located at

      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  6. Hi my name is Phumla I’m working at Tshepong mental residential I’m a carer,I enjoy my work but we r under payed we only earn R2500 a month.we work 12 hours a day and 23 days a month.

    • Hi Phumla,

      Thank you for your comment!

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and if you fit into this category and feel as if you need assistance with your current work situation, we may be able to help you. In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  7. Hi, I am Chane and i was working for a lady for a month, at first it seemed like a wonderful opportunity then after the first week she started to change everything we had spoken about over the phone. I was looking for a job close to my home because i had transport problems at the job i left to go and work for her, she changed my work location which was not part of the deal and it was 10 – 13 km from where i live. I had to ask her for my 3 months contract everyday for that whole month and i never received one, (we also spoke about it over the phone).i had to get to seshego with my own transport and because she never told me i am going to work so far from home,i didnt have enough transport money.

    My problem now is she is not paying me after she said she would pay me on the 30th of September 2016 after i called i spoke to her she insulted me over the phone and threatened me. Then she said she will pay me on the 7th of October 2016 and still up to today i am still waiting for the payment.

    • Hello Chane,

      Thank you for your comment!

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and if you fit into this category and feel as if you need assistance with your current work situation, we may be able to help you. In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      3 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      We look forward to hearing from you!

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  8. Hi I’m based in Johannesburg and need assistance regarding a workplace incident. Where I was threatened and intimidated by a fellow colleague. He became very abusive and approached asking what do you want to do, do it. As I was turning around to leave the altercation he made a derogatory statement about my Mom. At that point I lost my temper and physically assaulted him. This is completely out of character for me and my first incident in the 8 years at my company. After the incident the employee threaten to kill me and my family. It is understood that he received 5 stitches in his face and and opened an assault case. As a result I was suspended. It appears that he has not been suspended. Is this fair? I have also opened a counter case of theatening and intimation. Please advise me on my rights regarding the incident.
    Regards
    Gavin

    • Hello Gavin,

      Thank you for your comment!

      I am very sorry for your current situation with your workplace incident. Unfortunately we do not give legal advice online and therefore in order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you could stop by or call our office. We understand that you are located in Johannesburg, but unfortunately, we are only currently located in Cape Town.

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and we deal with refugee questions on a daily basis. In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please remember to bring all proper identification and documents with you at all times.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      3 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      We look forward to hearing from you!

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  9. hi there,

    I have been denied an internal move (grade and responsibility increase, but they would keep salary the same), which was advertised internally. The reason for blocking me was simply that they require me to stay in my current role; not about competency, or AA, etc; and I have been in the present role for a year – without adequete resources to do my job as described by my job description. Is this allowed? This is at a well-known company listed on the JSE, but many of their remuneration/hiring/job spec processes seem very shady.

    Thanks,
    Mary

    • Hi Mary,
      Thank you for your comment!

      I am very sorry for your current situation but unfortunately we do not give legal advice online and therefore in order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you could stop by or call our office. PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and if you fit into this category, we may be able to help you. In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please remember to bring all proper identification and documents with you at all times.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      3 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      We look forward to hearing from you!

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  10. Good Evening

    I need your assistance in dealing a matter. An fellow employee has threatened to kill me, i have it on record and have a witness, she is said to be suicidal and is on strong medication.

    Can such threats be made int he workplace wit no recourse, if the employer is aware and not acting despite these being reported.

    What are my rights and what are my options under the circumstances

    Regards

    Len

    • Hello Len,

      Unfortunately we do not give paralegal advice online and although we do not know much about your case, I think it would be best to contact a lawyer. PASSOP is dedicated to fighting for the rights of asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees and often give paralegal advice on applying for asylum and writing appeal letters.

      Good luck and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

      Kind Regards,
      Emma Burr Nyberg
      The PASSOP Team

  11. Good evening I need help I’m from Zim and my assylum expired in 2009 I started to work in a shop in capetown.The employer never asked for my documents.This year in April I reported him to the Dept of Labour for low wages and a Labour Inspector conducted a General Inspection and ordered that everything be done according to the Law.For all the 7 years I didn’t have a work contract.In June the employer gave me a 6 months contracts expiring on 12Nov 2016.In Aug he gave me Notice to terminate my contract if I failed to produce a valid work permit or assylum.I feel I’m unfairly dismissed just bcoz I reported him.What must I do?For all the 7 yrs I wasn’t paid recommended wages no leave days no off days

    • Hi Robert,

      Are you located in Cape Town?

      I am very sorry for your current situation but unfortunately we do not give legal advice online and therefore in order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you could stop by or call our office. PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and if you fit into this category, we may be able to help you.

      In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please remember to bring all proper identification and documents with you at all times. If you feel as though you need additional advice, I would suggest contacting a lawyer.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      3 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      Emma Burr Nyberg
      The PASSOP Team

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