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In Labour News, Labour News Teazer by Jan Truter11 Comments

The upcoming Election Day on Wednesday, 29 May 2024, has been declared a public holiday throughout the Republic of South Africa. Employers are reminded that it should be treated the same as any other public holiday.

For most employees (i.e., those who work a regular week), Election Day would otherwise have been an ordinary working day. This means the employer must pay:

(a) an employee who does not work on the public holiday, at least the wage that the employee would ordinarily have received for work on that day;

(b) an employee who does work on the public holiday -

(i) at least double the amount referred to in paragraph (a); or

(ii) if it is greater, the amount referred to in paragraph (a) plus the amount earned by the employee for the time worked on that day.

Employees for whom Election Day would not be an ordinary working day (for example some shift workers where the day falls on what would have been an “off day” anyway), would not be entitled to be paid for that day.

Election Day must also be treated as any other public holiday in all other respects.

For further questions, you can email


  1. Good day is an employer allowed to not pay me for not voting. I had every intention to vote but had a pipe burst at home and unfortunately due to circumstances could not vote. Please advise as he is threatening unpaid leave.

    1. Author

      Election Day is regarded as a public holiday, irrespective of whether you voted or not.

    2. employer deduct 1 day salary due to the fact that i did not vote. are they allowed to do that and where can you report there behaviour

      1. Author

        It is not permitted. Before approaching the Department of Labour or the CCMA, I suggest you first take it up with your employer – you can refer them to this article and our comments similar questions to yours.

  2. If you force employees to work on election day, note that you are violating and denying them their constitutional and democratic right to vote.

  3. for shift workers is it reasonable to advise employees to vote before or after their shift taking into account voting station hours

    1. Author

      This is more of a practical than a legal question, but I would imagine that in most cases it would make more sense for employees who work a shift on that day to vote after the end of their shift.

  4. can your employer take your annual leave if you dont go to vote on the 29th of may

    1. Author

      No, it is a public holiday irrespective of whether you vote or not.

  5. We are a very small company – there are so many Public Holidays in this country it is quite ridiculous. What upsets me most is that not one of our workers vote – just another day to be paid for doing absolutely nothing. If they voted I would not have a problem. Their attitude is that they won’t stand in a queue.

    1. South Africa is not even close to ”so many public holidays”. There is atleast 10 countries I can think of with more than DOUBLE the amount we have per year, clocking in at 25+ public holidays per year. We still have it fairly good

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