It is a common occurrence in agriculture to sometimes work during night-time hours. If an employer requires his/her employees to work at night, the safety and protection of such workers always needs to be guaranteed. Nightshift workers have the right to undergo medical exams to ensure that they are fit and not exposed to any hazardous substances. Workers need to agree to the terms and conditions prior to accepting any form of nightwork. Employers should monitor workers to ensure that they can work the required shifts. No workers can or should ever be forced to work at night if they do not agree to it. Workers should be paid at least their minimum wage plus an additional 10% of their daily wage as nightshift allowance.
What does legislation tell us?
BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ACT SECTION 17: NIGHT WORK
(1) Work performed after 20:00 and before 04:00 the next day.
(2) An employer may only require or permit an agri-worker to perform night work, if so agreed.
(3) An employer who requires an agri-worker to perform work on a regular basis after 20:00 and before 04:00 the next day must –
(a) Inform the agri-worker in writing, or orally regarding Health & Safety hazards and their right
to medical exams.
(4) Sub-clause (3) applies to agri-workers who work after 20:00 and before 04:00 at least five times per month or 50 times per year.
Feel free to contact SIZA (021 852 8184 / firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on nightshift.