There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding payments for public holidays if the public holiday falls on a Sunday and the Monday is a public holiday as well.

The Public Holidays Act 1994 provides:

The days mentioned in Schedule 1 shall be Public Holidays, and whenever any Public Holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be a Public Holiday.

The question of the Employer’s obligation to pay for both Sunday / Monday as Public Holidays was decided by the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court as shown in the case of Randfontein Estates Ltd v National Union of Mineworkers.

It was held that the important determining factor was the date on which the Public Holiday fell and not the day of the week on which it falls with the only exception being Easter.

The Sunday on which a Public Holiday falls is NOT replaced by the following Monday, the Sunday remains a Public Holiday and the following Monday becomes a Public Holiday as well.

So Employees working on the Monday must be remunerated public holiday rates.

This is across the board and there is nothing whatsoever in section 18 which excludes any class of employee.

The only exclusion is the earnings threshold of R205 433-30 per annum determined by the Minister, states that employees earning over that amount are excluded from section 18 (3) only – the remainder of the section still applies to that class of employee.

By: TJ van der Merwe – Cofesa