Some businesses only calculate overtime after filling up a week’s agreed-upon hours instead of the hours that exceed the ordinary hours per day. Please note that the Sectoral Determination 13 (SD13) defines overtime as the time that the agri-worker works during a day or in a week in excess of ordinary hours of work.

The first and most important factor to consider is the contracted hours of the employee. What does the contract state in terms of working hours (for example, what days will there be expected to work, and for how long on each day)? If the employee is only contracted to work from Monday to Friday, and the employee sometimes works on Saturdays (on request of the employer), those hours need to be remunerated at an overtime rate of at least 1,5 times the employee’s normal hourly wage. Overtime is calculated on the hours worked which exceed the agreed-upon daily or weekly limit. This means that if a worker works less than the agreed-upon weekly hours (for example, 45 hours) but works nine hours instead of the agreed-upon eight hours on a specific day within that week, overtime should be paid to that worker for that hour.

An employer cannot avoid paying overtime in respect of hours worked in any day by stipulating that required ordinary hours of work are a certain number of hours worked in a week. Section 9 (1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment states that an employer cannot require or permit an employee to work more than the hours set out in Section 9, which is nine hours per day for a 5-day working week and 45 hours per week. Unless the employment contract explicitly makes provision for a compressed work week or the extension of ordinary working hours (which should be in line with the accompanying legislative requirements), the employer must ensure that overtime is paid for any and every ordinary hour worked that exceeds the agreed-upon hours (daily and weekly).

It is important to remember the following (SD13, Section 13) that:

  • Agri-workers may not work more than 15 hours overtime per week.
  • Agri-workers may not work more than 12 hours on any day, including overtime.
  • Agri-workers must agree to work overtime.
  • Management must make sure that working hours are monitored effectively.

For more information on overtime, work on Sundays, and public holidays, feel free to refer to the SIZA Social Standard code requirement