Be careful of violating your employees’ constitutional rights on Election Day
After declaring 8 May (the day of national and provincial elections) a public holiday, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged employers to encourage their staff to use the day to exercise their right to vote.
Employers who force their employees to work on 8 May without their consent and prevent them from voting are not only contravening the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, but are also violating their employees’ constitutional rights.
To prevent any misunderstandings and/or labour disputes, CRS recommends that employers enter into a written mutual agreement with their employees about working on public holidays. Ensure that they fully understand the requirements and implications of the agreement. Once signed, employees who then decide to vote rather than show up for work on Election Day will be guilty of unauthorised absence, which is a disciplinary offence.