Paymaster Magazine

Shift Workers

Shift work(night work)  what must I pay my workers.

a)   Shift workers (night workers) are defined as :

  •  Work performed after 18H00 and before 06H00 the next day
  • Employees must agree to work a night shift
  • There must be transportation available to and from the employees place of residence
  • There must be a payment of a shift allowance ( no prescribed minimum is mentioned.) or a reduction in working hours. ( I am not sure what the reduction in working hours means as it is not defined in the act. I can only think that that the employee is paid for 45 hours and only works 40 hours.
  • Overtime work should be kept to a minimum.


b)   If the employee is required to work regularly after 23H00 and before 06H00 the next day then:

  • The employee must be informed of any health hazards associated with the work that is being performed
  • A right to undergo medical examinations whenever requested at the expense of the employer
  • The right to be transferred to day work if the employee health is suffering as a result of the night work

(regularly is defined as working for longer than 1 hour after 23H00 and before 06H00 at least 5 times per month or 50 times a year.)

The shift worker must be paid a shift allowance and should be shown on the pay slip as a separate earning and on the IRP 5 under code 3601

Download code of good practice for night shift workers

Ian Hurst


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  • Good day
    I would like some clarity please.
    I am currently employed by Netstar as a shift worker.
    I am unsure of the overtime.
    On my payslip it shows a Sunday (12 hours) paid as 0.5 overtime rate.
    Now should we get paid our salary plus 1.5 overtime rate or is 0.5 correct?
    Two weeks per month we work 7 days in a row. with three days off in between.
    We work Saturdays as well , just need clarity if we should over time there as well because we dont get overtime for Saturday.
    I look forward to your soonest response. Please respond via my email.

    Kind Regards

    • Hello Rishaan
      If Sunday was a normal work day then your payment was correct.
      If you do not normally work on a Sunday then they should have paid you double time.
      I hope this helps. If not, I will always encourage you to check with your payroll department.
      Thank you — Ian Hurst

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