What are the requirements relating to advertising positions?

Recruitment advertisements must not contain irrelevant or discriminatory conditions.

Background checks

What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries in relation to the following:

(a) Criminal records?

Criminal record checks are permitted only in exceptional circumstances, such as when recruiting armed guards.

(b) Medical history?

Medical history checks are not permitted.

(c) Drug screening?

Drug screening is not permitted.

(d) Credit checks?

Credit checks are not permitted.

(e) Immigration status?

Employers can check the immigration status of prospective employees.

(f) Social media?

If a prospective employee’s social media is publicly available, then it can be checked by an employer. However, this can be tricky as there is a risk of discovering information concerning the individual’s political, sexual or religious orientation and such information cannot affect any decision regarding the offer of employment.

(g) Other?

Educational and professional checks are the only other checks which can be made by a prospective employer.

Wages and working time


Is there a national minimum wage and, if so, what is it?

Yes, the national minimum wage is R998, per month, but collective agreements may provide for higher wages.

Are there restrictions on working hours?

Working hours are restricted to a maximum of eight hours per day and 44 hours per week, but many collective agreements provide for fewer than 44 hours per week. Certain categories of workers are limited to working six hours per day and 36 hours per week (eg, those on rotating shifts and bank employees).

Hours and overtime

What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?

If a worker has a shift of up to six hours, they are entitled to a 15-minute break; if the shift is longer than six hours, they are entitled to a one-hour break.

How should overtime be calculated?

Overtime should be calculated by dividing salary by monthly total hours worked and multiplying this by a premium of 50% on business days or 100% on holidays. Collective agreements may provide for higher overtime renumeration.

What exemptions are there from overtime?

High-level management are exempt from overtime pay, as are external workers, provided that it is not possible to control their work. After the reform, teleworking is also an exempt category.

Is there a minimum paid holiday entitlement?

Salaries paid by the calendar (month or fortnight) already take into consideration weekly holidays. Overtime and commission (paid by completed transaction) must accrue a premium corresponding to the division of monthly work days by holidays.

What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?

Final pay consists of:

  • wages;
  • accrued vacation and 13th salary (prorated);
  • pay in lieu of notice (if applicable); and
  • contributions to the Government Severance Indemnity Fund for Employees (FGTS), plus severance equal to 50% of total FGTS contributions.

The company must withhold taxes as applicable and may deduct up to one month’s salary under special circumstances.

Record keeping

What payroll and payment records must be maintained?

Payroll and employee registration cards must be maintained for public audits. Companies must also update employee details in their work and social security card. Companies must also upload relevant employment information in a system called E-Social until the end of 2019.

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