By Melissa Erasmus
Employees’ employment contracts often contain a clause that provides that their conditions of employment (including their remuneration) may not be discussed with their colleagues.
Is such a clause enforceable?
Section 78 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (No 75 of 1997) provides the following:
“ (1) Every employee has the right to –
… (b) discuss his or her conditions of employment with his or her fellow employees, his or her employer or any other person;”
In terms of section 79, no-one may prevent an employee from exercising a right conferred by the Act.
Therefore, a clause in an employment contract may not prohibit an employee from discussing his or her conditions of employment with a colleague or any other person, and such a clause will therefore be unenforceable.
However, employees must take note that this does not include the right to discuss the conditions of employment (including remuneration) of other employees.
Section 78 only provides that employees may discuss their own conditions of employment with others.