Understanding the Change to the Earnings Threshold

As of 1 April 2024, the earnings threshold, applicable to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), has been increased to R254 371.67 per annum.

But what does this mean?

This means that, if you earn less than R21 198.00 per month, you are now fully protected by the provisions of the BCEA.

Certain provisions of the BCEA serve to protect those considered as “vulnerable employees”. The increase in the earnings threshold means that more employees are now considered “vulnerable” and are now afforded added protection in terms of the BCEA.

If you earn less than the new earnings threshold, you are now protected by the following provisions of the BCEA:

  • Ordinary Work Hours (Section 9)
  • Overtime (Section 10)
  • Compressed Working Weeks (Section 11)
  • Average Work Hours (Section 12)
  • Meal Intervals (Section 14)
  • Daily and Weekly Rest Periods (Section 15)
  • Pay for Work on Sundays (Section 16)
  • Night Work (Section 17(2))
  • Public Holidays on which the employee would not ordinarily work (Section 18(3))

But what about those employees that earn above the threshold?

Employees, earning above the threshold, may not be protected by the abovementioned provisions, however, they are still at liberty to negotiate the terms of employment with their Employers.

Employers and employees, earning above the threshold, are not bound by the abovementioned protective provisions of the BCEA but this does not limit the parties from negotiating an employment contract based on similar terms.

It is important to have a written employment contract to ensure that there is no dispute in respect of the terms of employment.

What are “earnings”?

“Earnings” refers to the gross income, before deductions (such as tax, pension, medical aid, etc) but excluding employer contributions.

Furthermore, subsistence and transport allowances, bonuses and awards, and overtime payment is not regarded as “earnings”.


The increase in the earnings threshold is a welcome change in the field of labour law.

If you need further advices on your labour law rights, contact our offices to schedule a consultation.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!