A very relevant subject for this time of the year.
The short answer: if payment of a bonus is a guaranteed right, either in terms of an employee’s contract of employment, an employer’s remuneration or bonus policy, or perhaps an industry regulated Bargaining Council Main Agreement, and the bonus is not dependent on the exercise of any discretion at the instance of the employer or the attainment of individual or company related performance objectives, then such a bonus should ordinarily be payable. Absent such a right, there is no legislation within South Africa which obliges employers to pay bonuses to its employees. Hence, the right must either be agreed at the time of contracting or bargained for, either individually or collectively, and subsequently agreed to.
Assessed: 4 December 2018