Labour Lawyer Advice Needed

Get Labour Lawyer Advice if You Need a Salary Increase

It is not unusual to find comments on the internet at labour lawyer sites such as “labour lawyer advice needed on salary increases” or questions such as “Am I entitled to an annual raise?” As such, we look at your rights as an employee regarding salary increases in South Africa, helping to answer some of the questions you may have.

Employment Contract

The first step is to review the employment contract, which should stipulate the company’s rule on annual salary increases. If you don’t have a written employment contract, you can review the employer’s company policy and procedures to determine if you, as the employee, have a right to a salary increase.

Unfortunately, the law doesn’t dictate specific requirements for annual salary increases. Note that in many instances your employer’s ability to increase your salary will be dependent upon the company’s overall performance during the financial year and may also be connected to your performance. Unless you belong in the collective bargaining council category or belong to a union to negotiate the annual wage or salary increase, you will have to rely on the employment contract and the company policies and procedures for stipulating the right.

Right to Be Notified

You also don’t have a guarantee of increase, but the employer should strive to at the very least inform workers should there be no prospects for salary increases for the next financial period. However, that being said – you don’t have an inherent right to an increase unless a sectoral determination is in place for the entire sector in which you work or if it is stipulated in your employment contract and/or in the company policies, or it has been determined through a collective agreement.

How Salary Negotiation Should Take Place

There are no clear written guidelines for salary negotiations. However, if there is a collective agreement in place, the procedures for such as stipulated in the agreement will be followed. If you approach the employer for a salary increase keep in mind that your overall performance, value as employee, and the company’s financial ability to increase your salary must be taken into consideration. Though you can negotiate a verbal agreement it is always better to have such an agreement in writing to ensure that it can be enforced without legal complications.

A note of labour lawyer advice is to first review what the general market related salary for your particular position, years of employment and type of work is within your region. More often than not, people in small towns will find that they are paid less than the people in the city for similar work. Approaching the employer it is best to compare apples with apples before demanding a higher salary.

A negative attitude will not do much for developing the necessary relationship with your employer in negotiating salary increases. Rather plan ahead and ensure that your contribution to the company is important. You can ask for more responsibilities and do extra work to show your value to the company. However, it still doesn’t guarantee that you will get an annual increase. Also review how the company is doing in the marketplace and choose the time you negotiate accordingly.

Contact the Allardyce & Partners attorneys at or on 011 234 2125 if you need labour law advice on any aspects of employment in South Africa.


NB this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult with us before using/relying on this information.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top