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Post Info TOPIC: Payment of 13th Cheque when a company is in severe financial distress

Payment of 13th Cheque when a company is in severe financial distress

Scenario.....The payment of a 13th cheque is stated in the employment contract of all staff, however, if the company is under severe financial stress and gives all employees notice 5-6 months in advance that there may be a possibility of 13th cheques not being paid (even if stated in contracts) & when the due date for the 13th cheque is reached, the company is then financially worse off than it was 5-6 months previously & not financially able to pay the 13th cheque as the payment may result in retrenchments or its closure but pays out a 50% 13th cheque - can staff still claim the non-payment of the full amount to be unfair?

Labour Protect


Good day, 

In terms of the 13th Salary, it depends on what is specifically mentioned in the employment contract. 

It also depends on industry and if there is a collective agreement in place forcing an employer to payout a 13th salary that is not based on performance or subject to operational standards. If the employment contract states that all employees will receive an additional salary on perhaps their birthdays then an employee may proceed to claim this from its employer. 

In any other circumstance apart from the above mentioned,  the employer cannot be forced to payout  a 13th Salary. In most cases the 13th Salary is seen as an incentive and therefore subject to terms and conditions set out by the employer. 

Kind Regards, 


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