Workers who may have been disgruntled at the prospect of having worked an extra day during leap year at no extra remuneration should know that they are also benefitting from more public holidays falling within the working week in 2012, compared to last year.
According to Johan Botes, Employment Director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, because leap year saw the insertion of an extra day in the calendar 2012, workers had to work a day more than they do during non-leap-years. Yet, they are not entitled to extra remuneration for this extra day’s toil. However, they are also benefitting from more public holidays, as 11 of the 12 public holidays fall on a work day this year.
“Most employees earn salaries or wages for work done per week, fortnight or month. Their remuneration thus would remain unaffected where the calendar year contains an extra day. Employees earning hourly or daily wages, on the other hand, would be rewarded for the extra day they are expected to work in that their remuneration is based on the work done per hour or day. Where they work a day extra per year that they otherwise would not have, they are entitled to remuneration for this extra day. Weekly or monthly wage or salary earners, on the other hand, receive their remuneration based on a normal work-week of 45 hours or work-month of 4.33 weeks per month, in accordance with Section 35 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997,” Botes explains.
Botes explains further that the work year for many employees comprises 365 days, with 104 weekend days and a further 15 statutory weekdays for annual leave (21 if you were to include the weekends) and 12 public holidays. Employees would thus work 239/365 days if all 12 public holidays were to fall on normal workdays (65.479% of the year). During a leap year, this goes up to 240/366 (65.574% of the year). Employees thus usually have a longer work year in leap year whilst their remuneration remains the same.
“However” Botes adds, “During 2012, 11 of the 12 public holidays fall in the normal workweek with only Youth Day falling on a Saturday. During 2011, 10 of the 12 public holidays fell on normal workdays. Thus, while employees will have to work harder for the same remuneration in 2012, they will gain some reprieve over last year in that they can enjoy the benefit of more public holidays falling in the normal workweek.”