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Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act No. 75 of 1997)

Sectoral Determinations

Sectoral Determination 12 : Forestry Sector, South Africa

Part D : Hours of Work

21. Meal intervals


(1) An employer must give a forestry worker who works continuously for more than five hours a meal interval of at least one continuous hour.


(2) During a meal interval, a forestry worker may be required or permitted to perform only duties that cannot be left unattended and cannot be performed by another forestry worker.


(3) A forestry worker must be paid—
(a) for a meal interval in which the forestry worker is required to be available for work.
(b) for any portion of a meal interval that is in excess of 75 minutes, unless the forestry worker lives on the plantation or at the workplace.


(4) For the purpose of sub-clause (1), work is continuous unless it is interrupted by a meal interval in accordance with this clause.


(5) An agreement in writing may—
(a) Reduce the meal interval to not less than 30 minutes;
(b) dispense with a meal interval for a forestry worker who works fewer than six hours on a day.


(6) If the forestry worker is not able to understand the written agreement contemplated by sub clause (5) above, the employer must ensure that the agreement is explained to the forestry worker in a language that the forestry worker reasonably understands.


(7) Whenever an employer is required to give a forestry worker a second meal interval because of overtime worked, that interval may be reduced to not less than 15 minutes.