A circular detailing the Agreement between the ECA and SAEWA on, amongst others, the wage increases, and the leave bonus, can be found here

It is important to note that in respect of the leave bonus, employers are obliged to pay only 50% of the amount of leave bonus payable to an employee. Those employers who are unable to pay even the 50% leave bonus should apply to the NBCEI to be exempted from paying the agreed leave bonus. The employer would only need to demonstrate financial incapacity and the exemption will be granted.

A copy of an exemption application form can be found here should you need to apply for exemption.

Please note the following important points:

  1. The exemption application must be completed in full.
  2. Employees should be consulted and explained to why the firm is applying for an exemption.
  3. Minutes of this consultation meeting should be kept and be attached to the exemption application. (These need not be detailed. They only need to show that the employees were consulted on the firm’s inability to pay bonuses and further that they are aware that an application to be exempted from paying the bonus will be submitted by the firm to the NBCEI).
  4. The attendance register of the meeting should be kept and attached to the exemption application.
  5. If employees do not support the exemption application, their reasons must be attached to the exemption application.
  6. Proof that the firm is unable to pay even the 50% bonus must be submitted together with the application for exemption, otherwise the application is bound not to succeed.
  7. The application must be sent to the relevant bargaining council office. (
  8. Regardless of the submission by employees, the decision on whether or not to grant the application for the exemption lies with the Council.

Stephen Khola,

ECA(SA) National Labour Relations and HR Director


7 December 2020

Random Posts