The Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997


The Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 ("the Act") came into operation on the 1 December 1998 and addresses the conditions of employment. It replaced the previous Basic Conditions of Employment Act 3 of 1983 and the Wage Act. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 ('the Act") deals with, but is not limited to the following:

  • Conditions of employment service
  • Maximum working hours
  • Annual, sick and maternity leave
  • The particulars and termination of employment
  • Payment of remuneration and wages, deductions and other acts concerning remuneration and payment of contributions to benefit funds
  • The monitoring, enforcement of the law and legal proceedings


The purpose of the Act is to give effect and to regulate the right to fair labour practises, which is granted by section 23 (1) of the Constitution and to comply with South Africa's obligation as a member state of the International Labour Organisation. This Act applies to all employers and employees and takes precedence over any agreement, whether the agreement was entered into before or after the commencement of this Act.

It is imperative that employees and employers familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Act since non-compliance is an offence and the contravention of certain provisions may lead to imprisonment.

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