Defining Casual Workers in South Africa

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Although our labour legislation does not explicitly refer to casual workers, these employees make up a large portion of the workforce. Casual workers in South Africa are fully-fledged employees protected by South African law. These workers come in many shapes and forms. Managing casual workers in South Africa as a resource for your business requires accurately defining such workers:

What are casual workers?

Casual workers are employed for fewer hours per week than full-time employees. The average working week in South Africa is 45 hours. A casual worker is employed for fewer than 45 hours per week. 30 working hours per week or less is typical for casual workers in South Africa. Casual workers employed on a fixed term contract for seasonal work or a specific project may work more weekly hours than the above.

What types of employment arrangements can casual workers in South Africa have?

Casual workers can have diverse arrangements with their employers. Some typical employment arrangements include:

  • A fixed employment period, such as for a particular project or seasonal work
  • Half-day work
  • Working one day per week
  • Working exclusively over weekends

GO TO: Types of Casual Workers

Are casual workers in South Africa protected by the law?

Casual workers must have a contract, regardless of hours worked or employment duration. This allows South African Labour Legislation to protect the rights of both casual workers and their employers

GO TO: Casual Worker Agreements

In South Africa, casual workers have similar rights to permanent employees. These include rights for leave, public holiday rates, overtime, and more. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) establishes these minimum standards. However, the BCEA only protects workers employed for more than 24 hours per month.

Casual workers employed for fewer than 24 hours per month are still protected by the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and Employment Equity Act (EEA). These include laws protecting workers against harassment, discrimination and poor health and safety practices.

GO TO: Legislation Around Casual Workers

NEXT: Types of Casual Workers


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  1. Types of Casual Workers in South Africa - Vavavox Blog - November 14, 2016

    […] GO TO: Defining Casual Workers […]

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