Casual Worker Interview Questions

When hiring a casual worker, it is important to hold an interview to find out whether the worker is suited to the position or project. This interview can take the form of an informal conversation or formal meeting, depending on your business’ needs. Typical casual worker interview questions include questions about availability, rates and past work experience. Questions for casual worker jobs in more technical fields will also touch on skills and abilities.

Suggested Casual Worker Interview Questions:

1. What days or hours are you available to work?
Ensure that the casual worker’s availability matches your daily or weekly requirements. Find out whether evening or weekend work is ruled out. If you’re looking for a casual worker with a flexible schedule, ensure that the worker does not require a rigid working roster.

2. What applicable experience do you have?
Determine the casual worker’s employment history. Both general work experience and experience within the field are relevant when making your decision. Obtain contact details for any of the casual worker’s references. Find out about the casual worker’s education and relevant courses or qualifications completed, such as First Aid for childcare positions or N certificates for technical fields.

3. How do you determine which task needs attention first?
Determine the casual worker’s time management skills with an open-ended question like the above. Alternatively, provide the casual worker with a scenario relevant to your business where they would have to decide which tasks to prioritise over others.

4. What was your experience working for your previous employer?

A casual worker’s relationship with a past employer could indicate their ability to take criticism and work as part of a team. It may also highlight issues that could compromise their work performance which prospective employers need to be mindful of.

5. What are your earning expectations?
Enquire about the worker’s earnings in past jobs. Determine what their transport costs entail. Find out their expectations for an hourly rate, weekly wage or monthly salary.

NEXT: Casual Worker Agreements

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Contact Details

Here is a list of all the contact details that will come in handy when managing casual workers in South Africa:

Department of Labour: Head Office

Operating Hours: 07:30 to 16:00, Monday to Friday.

Telephone Number(s): (012) 309 4000

Fax Number(s): (012) 320 2059

Email Address:

Street Address: Laboria House, 215 Francis Baard Street. Pretoria
Postal Address: Private Bag X117, Pretoria, 0001

Department of Labour: Provincial Offices

Provincial Offices of the Department of Labour provide legal advice and process legal complaints and UIF benefits claims. Click here to view a full list of Provincial Offices.

Labour Centres

Labour Centres provide also legal advice and process legal complaints and UIF benefits claims. There are many Labour Centres across South Africa. Click here to view a full list of Labour Centres by province.

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

The UIF gives short-term financial relief to workers when they become unemployed or cannot work due to maternity, adoption leave, or illness. It also provides funds to the dependents of a deceased contributor.

Operating Hours: 07:30 to 16:00, Monday to Friday.

Telephone Number(s): 012 337 1700 (Switchboard), 012 337 1680 (Call Centre), 0800 843 843 (Call Centre)

Fax Number(s): 086 713 3000

Street Address: UIF Building, 230 Lillian Ngoyi Street, Absa Towers, Pretoria Central
Postal Address: The UIF, Pretoria, 0052

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)

The CCMA is an independent authority that resolves labour disputes, and provides advice and training on labour relations.

Telephone Number(s): (011) 377-6650/6600 (Head Office), 0861 16 16 16 (Call Centre)

Fax Number(s): (011) 834-7351 (Head Office)

Email Address:

Street Address: CCMA National Office, 28 Harrison Street, Johannesburg 2001
Postal Address: Private Bag X94, Marshalltown 2107

To find the closest CCMA Office in your province, click here.

Compensation Fund

The Compensation Fund provides compensation for occupational injuries or diseases sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or for death resulting from such injuries or diseases. The authority also advises on matters related to occupational health and injury.

Telephone Number(s): 012 319 9457 / 9458
Fax Number(s): 012 357 1750
Street Address: Compensation House , cnr Hamilton and Soutpansberg Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria
Postal Address: PO Box 955, Pretoria, 0001

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Casual Worker Rates in South Africa

In South Africa, there is no national minimum wage. Instead, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) outlines minimum terms and conditions of employment for specific types of economic activity. In these sectors, employees have been deemed vulnerable to exploitative labour practices. If a sector is not considered vulnerable, there are no minimum wages. These sectoral determinations are available online through the Department of Labour. In the following sectors, casual worker rates are determined by minimum wage law:

Casual Worker Rates:

Domestic Work

This category includes housekeepers, gardeners, nannies and domestic drivers. Minimum casual worker rates within this sector for 1 December 2015 until 30 November 2016 are outlined in the tables below.

Area A refers to large metropolitan areas and highly developed municipalities. Area B refers to the rest of South Africa. View the full list of areas.

Domestic workers who work at least 27 ordinary hours per week:

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly Rate R11.44 R10.23
Weekly Rate R514.82 R460.15
Monthly Rate R2 230.70 R1 993.82

Domestic workers who work less than 27 ordinary hours per week:

Minimum Area A Area B
Hourly rate R13.39 R12.07
Weekly Rate R361.50 R325.98
Monthly Rate R1 566.35 R1 412.49

Click here for more detailed information on paying your casual worker in the domestic work sector.

Wholesale & Retail

This sectoral determination applies to all workers in the wholesale and retail sector, including those associated with warehousing and distribution. Casual workers are frequently hired within this sector as sales assistants, drivers and general workers.

Position Area A Area B
Sales Assistant R28.60 R24.71
Cashier R24.30 R20.88
Driver <3500kg R22.08 R18.71
General Worker R19.94 R18.11
Click here for more detailed information on casual worker rates in wholesale and retail.

Farm Work

This sectoral determination applies to all workers on a farm, including domestic workers and security guards. From 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017,  the following minimum casual worker rate applies in the farm sector:

Minimum Rate
Hourly R14.25
Daily (9 hours) R128.26
Click here for more detailed information on paying your casual worker in the farming sector.


Employer Hourly Rate
Fewer than 10 employees R15.17
More than 10 employees R16.91

Click here for more detailed information on casual worker rates in the hospitality sector.

Civil Engineering

Casual workers in this sector are commonly employed as general workers on Grade 1/Patterson A1 tasks. They may also be employed to work on Task Grade 2/Patterson A2 tasks as aids or hands to more skilled workers on the team. Click here for detailed information on paying your casual worker in the civil engineering sector.

Private Security

Casual workers in private security must be paid an equal hourly rate to an ordinary employee performing the same class of work, or up to 15% more per hour. ‘Ordinary employee’ refers to a full-time worker performing a specified task at the lowest salary. The number of years that a casual worker has worked for an employer also influence what they are paid in this sector.

Here are the minimum monthly salaries for security officers working for an employer for one year in the private security sector:

Security Officer Grade Area A Area B Area C
Grade A R4,571 R4,177 R3,794
Grade B R4,096 R3,739 R3,452
Grade C R3,545 R3,258 R2,948
Grade D & E R3,482 R3,162 R2,874

Area A refers to metropolitan or developed magisterial districts  Area B refers to smaller urban areas like Bloemfontein and Stellenbosch. Area C refers to all other areas. Click here to view more detailed descriptions of each area.

To know what to pay your casual worker in the private security sector, determine the hourly equivalent making up the minimum salary in their class of work. Make use of the formula for calculation of salary listed in sub clause 3(5)(b) of the Amendment Of Sectoral Determination 6: Private Security Sector, South Africa in the BCEA.

NOTE: If a casual employee in this sector works for a period of less than four hours on any day, it is legislated that the employee must be remunerated for at least four hours.

Other Sectoral Determinations

The following sectors are also subject to sectoral determinations from the Department of Labour. When employing a casual worker within these sectors, ensure that you consult the relevant legislation on remuneration:


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Casual Worker Agreements in South Africa

Every casual worker is entitled to an employment agreement, no matter the industry our hours. If a formal contract is not suited to your business, a letter of appointment also functions as an employment agreement. Ensuring casual worker agreements are signed by both parties helps your business avoid disputes surrounding the contents.

Different types of casual workers require different types of casual worker agreements. Some details will be specific to the nature of the job, while other items should be included in every employment contract.

GO TO: Types of Casual Workers in South Africa

Compulsory information for casual worker agreements:

Employer and employee details

  • Employer’s full name
  • The physical address registered to the business
  • Casual worker’s name
  • A brief description of work

Employment details

  • Place(s) of work
  • Date of employment
  • Working hours
  • Days of work

Payment details

  • Monthly salary or wage/hourly rate and method of calculating wages
  • Rate for overtime and public holidays
  • Any other cash payments, including bonus and commission
  • Any payments in kind and their value
  • Frequency of payment
  • Payment method
  • Any deductions

GO TO: Casual Worker Rates


  • Any leave the casual worker is entitled to

GO TO: Casual Worker Legislation

Termination of contract or contract period

  • Period of notice required for termination
  • Period of contract, if a fixed-term agreement

Casual worker agreement templates in accordance with South African legislation are available from Law Live.

As of 1 January 2015, amendments to the Labour Relations act imposed restrictions (and exceptions) upon the use of fixed-term employment contracts. If your business intends to employ a casual worker on a fixed-term contract, it is recommended that you brush up on this new regulation in Section 198B.

GO TO: Legislation Around Casual Workers

Illiteracy poses problems for establishing employment agreements with casual workers in South Africa. If a casual worker is illiterate, the terms must be explained before the employee accepts the agreement. An illiterate employee agrees to an agreement’s contents by placing their mark or signature on the document.




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Casual Worker Legislation in South Africa

Casual worker legislation varies depending on the number of hours worked in a month. If a casual worker is employed for more than 24 hours per month, their rights are very similar to the rights of permanent employees. A casual employee who works for less than 24 hours per month is still protected by law, however, there are fewer minimum standards of employment.

What is the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA)?

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) sets minimum standards of employment to protect workers in South Africa from exploitation. This casual worker legislation applies to workers employed for more than 24 hours per month.

BCEA Casual Worker Legislation

1. Working times:

Shift work

While the maximum shift length for a five-day work week is 9 hours, an employment agreement may allow longer shifts where the working week is shorter. A casual employee typically works a compressed work week. Regardless of the number of days worked per week, the casual worker may not work for more than 12 hours in any day (including any breaks).

SEE: BCEA Sections 9 & 11  Ordinary hours of work & Compressed working week

The casual worker is entitled to a rest period of 1 hour for every 5 hours worked. A written agreement between worker and employer can reduce this rest period to 30 minutes.

SEE: BCEA: Section 14(1)-(5) Meal Intervals

The casual worker must have a daily rest period of 12 hours from the end of one work day to the start of the following work day. If the employee lives on the premises and receives a meal break of at least 3 hours, the rest period can be reduced to 10 hours. This is particularly relevant to casual workers in the farming sector.

The casual worker must have a weekly rest period of 36 continuous hours. A written agreement between employer and worker can provide a rest period of at least 60 consecutive hours every two weeks.

SEE: BCEA: Section 15 Daily and weekly rest period

Weekend work

If the casual worker typically works on a Sunday, the worker must be paid at time and a half their normal hourly rate.

If the casual worker is requested to work on a Sunday outside typical working hours, payment must be double the normal hourly rate for hours worked OR one full day’s pay (whichever is the larger amount).

SEE: BCEA Section 16: Pay for work on Sundays

Public holidays

If a public holiday falls on a day that the casual worker would typically work, they are entitled to be paid for the day’s work. If a casual worker agrees to work on a public holiday, they must be paid double the normal hourly rate for hours worked on the day OR they must receive a normal working day off in exchange.

SEE: BCEA Section 18: Public holidays


Any employee may not work more than 45 hours per week and may not work on more than 5 days per week. Time worked beyond 45 weekly hours should be paid at overtime rates. This legislation refers to casual workers too.

A casual worker will rarely work overtime, as these employees typically work less than full-time workers. However, in the case of seasonal work, a casual worker may require overtime pay.

Overtime must be paid per hour of overtime worked at one and a half times the worker’s ordinary hourly wage. However, no worker may work more than 10 hours of overtime per week.

SEE: BCEA Section 10 Overtime


The casual worker must be remunerated:

  • daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly
  • in cash, cheque or direct deposit into an account designated by the worker

If a worker is paid in cash or by cheque, the casual worker must be paid:

  • in a sealed envelope
  • at the workplace or location agreed to by the employee
  • during working hours or within 15 minutes before or after the shift

Remuneration must be paid no later than 1 week after the completion of the period for which remuneration is calculated or the termination of the contract of employment.

SEE: BCEA Section 32 Payment of remuneration

NOTE: Certain sectors have legislated minimum wages for workers (full-time or casual) within these sectors. Ensure that you familiarise yourself with the various sectoral determinations that inform the BCEA.

GO TO: Casual Worker Rates

3. Leave:

Annual leave

Workers must get annual leave of at least:

  • 21 consecutive days, OR
  • 1 day for every 17 days worked, OR
  • 1 hour for every 17 hours worked.

A public holiday cannot be calculated as annual leave.

Both the employer and casual worker should agree to the timing of annual leave. Even if they do not agree, leave must be granted not later than 6 months after the end of the annual leave cycle. The annual leave cycle refers to each 12 month period from the date of employment.
Any annual leave owed to the worker must be paid upon termination of employment.
SEE: BCEA: Section 20-21 Annual leave & Pay for annual leave

Sick leave

An employee who works more than 24 hours during any month earns one day’s paid sick leave for every 26 days worked over a 6-month cycle. If a worker’s paid sick leave is exhausted, the employer does not have to pay the worker for sick days.

SEE: BCEA: Section 22 Sick leave

Maternity leave

Female casual workers are entitled to 4 months unpaid maternity leave without termination of their contract. During this time, the worker may draw maternity benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

SEE: BCEA: Section 25 Maternity leave

Family responsibility leave

Workers my take up to 3 days of paid leave a year to attend to certain family responsibilities, such as a birth or death in a family. Provisions for family responsibility leave only apply to casual workers who work:

  • 4 days a week or more for one employer
  • 24 hours a month or more, OR
  • 4 months or more for an employer

SEE: BCEA: Section 27 Family Responsibility Leave

4. Deductions:

There are three deductions that the employer is legally required to make from a casual worker’s wages. These include:
• Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)
• SITE (tax)
• Any deduction ordered by a court

Any other deductions are illegal without the worker’s written consent. With the worker’s written consent, lawful deductions for medical aid, pension, trade union subscriptions, repayment of loans and more can be made. Deductions cannot exceed 25% of the worker’s normal wage. Consult the BCEA for a detailed description of lawful and unlawful deductions.

SEE: BCEA Section 34 Deductions and other acts concerning remuneration

5. Notice periods:

  • During the first six months of employment, casual workers are entitled to 1 week’s notice of the termination of their contract.
  • After the sixth month of employment but during the first year of employment, casual workers are entitled to 2 weeks’ notice of termination of their contract.
  • Working for an employer for more than one year entitles a casual worker to 4 weeks’ notice.

If an employment contract has a longer period of notice than listed above, the longer notice must be given.

GO TO: Casual Worker Agreements

Notice must be in writing. Notice cannot be given while the worker is on leave, either by the employer or worker.

The most important casual worker legislation in the BCEA is outlined above. However, the BCEA also addresses administration and prohibition of victimisation and exploitation of workers. Click here to view the full BCEA.

Short on time? Click here for a seven-page summary of the BCEA, available on SME Toolkit courtesy of Business Partners Ltd.

What is the Labour Relations Act (LRA)?

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) works towards economic development, social justice, labour peace and democracy in the workplace. It applies to all workers, casual or full-time, regardless of the number of hours worked per month. The LRA regulates unfair labour practices and dismissals by employers.

LRA Casual Worker Legislation

1. Unfair Labour Practice

What is unfair labour practice?

Unfair labour practice excludes disputes about dismissals and dismissals. It refers to the following:

  • unfair conduct relating to the provision of benefits to a worker;
  • unfair conduct relating to promotion, demotion, probation or training of a worker;
  • unfair suspension of an employee or other unfair disciplinary action against a worker;
  • failure or refusal to reinstate or re-employ a worker as agreed;
  • occupational detriments after a worker discloses unlawful labour practices.

How are unfair labour practice disputes resolved?

Workers may refer unfair labour practice disputes to a statutory or bargaining council or the CCMA. This referral must be made within 90 days of the date of an unfair labour act or 90 days of the date when a worker became aware of an unfair act. The employer must receive a copy of the referral.

GO TO: Contact Details

2. Dismissal and Disciplinary Procedure

What constitutes dismissal?

Dismissal refers to any of the following:

  • an employer terminates a contract of employment with or without notice;
  • an employee terminates a contract of employment with or without notice after the employer made continued employment intolerable for the employee;
  • an employee reasonably expects the employer to renew a fixed term contract of employment but the employer failed to renew it or offered to renew it on less favourable terms;
  • an employer refused to allow an employee to resume work after she took maternity leave in terms of any law, collective agreement or her contract of employment,
  • an employer refused to allow an employee to resume work after she was absent from work for up to four weeks before the expected date, and up to eight weeks after the actual date, of the birth of her child;
  • an employer who dismissed a number of employees for the same or similar reasons has offered to re-employ one or more of them but has refused to re-employ another.

Dismissal is fair if:

  • the operational requirements of the business have changed, OR
  • a worker displays poor conduct contravening the employer’s code of conduct, OR
  • the capacity of a worker is insufficient for the role due to poor work performance or ill health.

Dismissal is unfair if:

  • it does not adhere to fair procedure for dismissal, OR
  • a worker is forced to accept a demand, OR
  • a worker took action against an employer (or intended to) by exercising a right or taking part in proceedings, OR
  • a worker is pregnant, or intends to be pregnant, OR
  • a worker is discriminated against according to race, gender, language, disability, sexual orientation, family responsibility, and other factors, OR
  • an employer cannot prove a worker’s misconduct or inability based on poor work performance or ill health, OR
  • an employer cannot prove the validity of their operational needs that the worker cannot provide.

What is fair procedure for dismissal?

If dismissing a worker due to a change in a business’ operational requirements, the employer will have to provide severance pay equal to at least one week’s remuneration for each completed year of continuous service. The employer may also provide alternative employment deemed agreeable to the worker.

If dismissing a worker due to incapacity because of poor work performance, the employer must give the worker fair opportunity to meet the required performance standard through training or other means.

If dismissing a worker due to incapacity because of ill health, the employer must demonstrate attempts to adapt the employee’s work circumstances to accommodate their disability or attempts to adapt the employee’s duties.

If dismissing a worker due to poor conduct, the employer must demonstrate past efforts to correct the worker’s behaviour through a system of graduated disciplinary measures like verbal and written warnings.

Click here for more detailed information on fair procedure for dismissal.

Disputes about unfair dismissal may be referred to the CCMA for resolution. This referral must be made within 30 days of a dismissal date or an employer’s decision to dismiss. If a worker is dismissed after disclosing unlawful conduct in the workplace, the dispute may be brought before the Labour Court as it contravenes the Protected Disclosures Act.

GO TO: Contact Details

The LRA also enforces regulations surrounding trade unions, unfair discrimination regarding wages, and transfer of employment. Click here to view the full Labour Relations Act.


Basic Guides
Compensation for Occupational Injuries or Diseases
Unemployment Insurance Fund


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Defining Casual Workers in South Africa

Although our labour legislation does not explicitly refer to casual workers, these employees make up a large portion of the workforce. Casual workers in South Africa are fully-fledged employees protected by South African law. These workers come in many shapes and forms. Managing casual workers in South Africa as a resource for your business requires accurately defining such workers:

What are casual workers?

Casual workers are employed for fewer hours per week than full-time employees. The average working week in South Africa is 45 hours. A casual worker is employed for fewer than 45 hours per week. 30 working hours per week or less is typical for casual workers in South Africa. Casual workers employed on a fixed term contract for seasonal work or a specific project may work more weekly hours than the above.

What types of employment arrangements can casual workers in South Africa have?

Casual workers can have diverse arrangements with their employers. Some typical employment arrangements include:

  • A fixed employment period, such as for a particular project or seasonal work
  • Half-day work
  • Working one day per week
  • Working exclusively over weekends

GO TO: Types of Casual Workers

Are casual workers in South Africa protected by the law?

Casual workers must have a contract, regardless of hours worked or employment duration. This allows South African Labour Legislation to protect the rights of both casual workers and their employers

GO TO: Casual Worker Agreements

In South Africa, casual workers have similar rights to permanent employees. These include rights for leave, public holiday rates, overtime, and more. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) establishes these minimum standards. However, the BCEA only protects workers employed for more than 24 hours per month.

Casual workers employed for fewer than 24 hours per month are still protected by the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and Employment Equity Act (EEA). These include laws protecting workers against harassment, discrimination and poor health and safety practices.

GO TO: Legislation Around Casual Workers

NEXT: Types of Casual Workers


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Types of Casual Workers in South Africa

Casual workers hold different roles within the labour force. They can be skilled or unskilled workers, work limited hours on a permanent basis or work full-time hours over a specific time period.

GO TO: Defining Casual Workers

Knowing the different types of casual workers  is essential when managing casual workers in South Africa.

Types of Casual Workers in South Africa:

  1. Part-time Employees

Part-time employees are permanently employed by an organisation. However, they work fewer hours than full-time employees.

  • Busisiwe is a student who works at a retail store in a shopping mall over weekends. She works three days per week, while full-time employees work five days per week. Busisiwe has signed a permanent employment contract with the business, although she works limited hours.
  • Sara is a domestic worker who assists with the Tlou family’s housework. She works at the Tlou residence part-time for five half-days per week. Her cousin Bettina is a live-in domestic worker for another family. Bettina is considered a full-time employee while Sara is a part-time worker.

2. Temporary Employees

These casual workers are employed on a short-term basis. Temporary employees work for an employer when needed. These workers do not have job security and are not guaranteed future work with any employer.

  • Simphiwe is a day labourer without permanent employment. Every day, he stands at the side of the road with other job seekers and assists with odd jobs on offer. Today, Simphiwe is assisting with painting a garden wall. As a temporary worker, Simphiwe is not guaranteed more painting work tomorrow.

3. Fixed Term Employees

These casual workers are not permanently employed by an organisation. Fixed term employees work for an employer for a specific length of time or on a particular project. These casual workers frequently have a fixed term contract. These casual workers can be both skilled professionals or seasonal workers:

  • Hector is a skilled tiler. He has been independently contracted to retile a neighbour’s kitchen. Once this tiling project is completed, Hector is not guaranteed more tiling work from his neighbour. He will take on new tiling projects from other employers as they come along.
  • Natasha is a high school learner who works at a local restaurant over her summer holidays. She has signed a fixed term contract to work during the business’ busiest season from December to January. At the end of January, Natasha will return to school and no longer be employed by the restaurant.

Each type of casual worker is protected under different acts within our labour legislation.

GO TO: Casual Worker Legislation

Employment agreements with casual workers can reflect any of the above employment statuses.



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