On 9 February 2022, the Minister of Employment and Labour published his determination of a new earnings threshold under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997.
With effect from 1 March 2022, the threshold will increase from the current R211 596.30 pa (equivalent to R17 633.03 per month) to R224 080.48 (equivalent to R18 673.37 per month).
The threshold is based on the regular annual remuneration of an employee before deductions such as, for example, income tax, pension, medical aid and similar payments or contributions by the employee. Employer contributions made in respect of the employee are not included in the calculation of remuneration for this purpose, nor are subsistence and transport allowances, achievement awards and payments for overtime.
For employees earning less than the threshold, the BCEA sets out minimum conditions of employment in respect of:
- ordinary hours of work;
- compressed working week;
- averaging of hours of work;
- meal intervals;
- daily and weekly rest periods; and
- compensation for work performed on Sundays, at night or on public holidays.
The threshold also has relevance under the Labour Relations Act, 1995 in connection with labour broker employees (temporary employment services), fixed term contracts and part-time employees.
In practice, employers need to review the position of employees earning between R17 633.03 per month but less than R18 673.37 per month. These are the people who are new “into the net” and whose position may change. Do their employment conditions meet the minimum standards of the BCEA? Do their rights and protections under the LRA change?