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The Department of Labour posted Learnership regulations known as Sectoral Determination 5 : Learnerships.

This determination sets rules for these aspects of Learnerships:

  • minimum wages
  • working hours
  • number of leave days
  • termination rules

Rest periods, Sunday, night work and public holidays

Clauses 14 – 16


  1. An employer must allow a learner-
    • a daily rest period of at least twelve consecutive hours between ending and recommencing work; and
    • a weekly rest period of at least 36 consecutive hours, which, unless otherwise agreed, must include Sunday.
  • A daily rest period may, by written agreement, be reduced to 10 hours for a learner-
    • who lives on the premises at which the workplace is situated; and
    • whose meal interval lasts for at least three hours.

An agreement in writing may provide for-

  • a rest period of at least 60 consecutive hours every two weeks; or
  • a learner’s weekly rest period to be reduced by up to eight hours in any week if the rest period in the following week is extended equivalently.


  1. An employer must pay a learner who works on a Sunday double the learner’s usual pay for each hour worked, this is considered over-time as Sunday work isn’t part of their usual contract. But if the learner is usually required to work on a Sunday as a normal job requirement, the employer must pay the learner at one and one-half times the learner’s usual pay for each hour worked.
  2. It must be a full day’s pay even if a learner works less than the learner’s ordinary shift on a Sunday.
  3. The learner and employer can agree to time off if the learner agrees to work on a Sunday. The time off should be equal to the value of the time off. So if Sunday work equals double pay, then you should be entitled to take 2 normal workdays off.
  4. Sunday work done by a learner who is not usually expected to work on a Sunday is counted as overtime worked by the learner.
  5. If a shift starts on a Sunday and ends on another day, maybe Monday, the whole shift is calculated on Sunday rates. But if the bigger part of the shift was worked on another day, maybe Saturday, then the whole shift is counted as having been worked on the other day.
  6. (a)    An employer must grant paid time off within one month of the learner becoming entitled to it.

   (b)  An agreement in writing may increase the period contemplated by paragraph (a) to 12 months.


  1. (1) In this clause, ‘night work’ means work performed after 18:00 and before 06:00 the next day.
  2. An employer can only expect a learner to perform night work, if so agreed, and if-
    1. the learner is either paid for it or given time off; and
    2. transportation is available from the learner’s home and the workplace at the start and end of the learner’s shift. This includes  access to public transport.
  3. An employer who requires a learner to perform work on a regular basis after 23:00 and before 06:00 the next day must-
    1. inform the learner in writing, or orally if the learner can’t read it, in a language that the learner understands-
      1. of any health and safety dangers linked to the work; and
      2. of the learner’s right to go for a medical check if they suspect that their health has been endangered (b);
    2. If the learner wants a medical check based on the hazards, the employer must pay-
      1. before the learner starts, or within a reasonable period of the learner starting, such work; and
      2. at appropriate intervals while the learner continues to perform such work; and
    3. transfer the learner to suitable day work within a reasonable time if-
      1. the learner suffers from a health condition linked to the performance of night work; and
      2. if the employer is able to do so.
  4. ‘Regular’ is when  a learner works for a period of longer than one hour after 23:00 and before 06:00 at least five times per month or 50 times per year.
  5. The results of any medical check performed in terms of this determination must be kept confidential, but can be disclosed if-
    1. it is in accordance with ethical practice;
    2. if required legally; or
    3. if the learner has agreed in writing to the information being released.

More from Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships

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1 Comment

Brittney Mar 14, 2016 at 4:20 am

Thanks for this it was helpful

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