Can management force you to partake in social activities in South Africa i.e. can employers make social activities (or part of it) mandatory? Is there any legislation that can assist me and if so can I please be directed to the relevant section?

Please note that the social activity in during work hours for a short duration which employees work back and sponsor. This is also not CSI related.

Thank you

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If it's during work hours then the answer is most likely yes - obviously it will depend on the actual wording of your contract and/or employee handbook but there is typically a clause referring to "additional duties as instructed" or similar and that being the case you'd have a hard time arguing to refuse such things. Cases such as A Mauchie (Pty) Ltd t/a Predcision Tools v NUMSA & others (1995) show that the Labour court tends to support the notion that the employer can give their employees duties outside of their "standard" job description within reason.


Without knowing the specifics of South African law, I would be incredibly surprised if there was a law protecting you from your company mandating social activities during work hours, at least in broad terms.

During work hours, you may be reasonably expected to be engaged with activities that may sit outside the core duties of your role. Where it comes to social activities, they are often categorised as team-building.

If you have some form of social anxiety disorder, you should work with your employer to find a solution that is viable for the both of you. Like any medical condition, they would be obliged to try and accommodate your needs.

If this is a one-off, and you don't need to provide proof, you may consider taking sick leave on that day.

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    note the ``` short duration which employees work back and sponsor``` part. While I agree there is likely no protection from having to partake in social activities as part of non-usual work responsibilities, there might well be a law that prevents this being counted as "spare time". – Frank Hopkins Apr 3 at 8:54
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    What does "work back and sponsor" mean? I read that it occurs during work hours, is that not the case? – Gregory Currie Apr 3 at 8:56
  • to me that reads as the workers sponsor i.e. "gift" the time during work hours and have to make up for the lost time later/another day outside of work hours to fully cover their daily work hours – Frank Hopkins Apr 3 at 8:58

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