Loadshedding: Are Employees Entitled To Wages During A Power Outage?

We are back to loadshedding and it looks as though it is going to continue for a while.

This brings us to the question of whether employers have to pay workers during load shedding. Legal commentators are suggesting that –

  • If employees are available to work, then they are entitled to payment. So even if the blackout prevents them from performing their tasks, the employer is obliged to pay wages. 

  • The situation is different for workers who get paid for an outcome (e.g. sales commission). Here there is no obligation to pay if these people come to the workplace.

  • Should the power outages have a major impact on the workplace, there is nothing to stop the employer from negotiating with employees for lower or even no pay during power cuts. This may help both parties as potentially workers could face retrenchment, whilst employers save on costs.
Labour Law being the specialised field that it is, take full advice on your particular circumstances in any doubt.

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