Why do we celebrate Workers’ Day?

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (1 May 2018)


This week we celebrate Workers’ Day, not only in South Africa, but around the world. Since as far back as 1830, workers globally have been campaigning for equal rights and fair treatment, and their rights are commemorated on this day.


Also known as May Day, Workers’ Day originates from the worldwide struggle by labourers for fair employment standards. In South Africa, we also remember and celebrate those who fought against racial discrimination and struggled for the equal rights of all workers during apartheid.


Since the beginning of democracy, fair labour rights have been built into the South African Constitution. In addition, South Africa’s labour laws are aligned with the best practices set out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations agency that promotes social justice and labour rights.


The ILO states that, “Africa’s population is rising the fastest and the pressure to provide decent work opportunities for new labour market entrants is particularly acute in Africa.” The main objectives of ILO in Africa are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.


It is important for every employee to know their basic rights. All employees have the right to:


  • not be unfairly dismissed or discriminated against
  • be provided with appropriate resources and equipment
  • have safe working conditions
  • receive the agreed remuneration on the agreed date and time
  • receive fair labour practices
  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • non-victimisation in claiming rights and using procedures
  • leave benefits and other basic conditions of employment as stipulated in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA)


At Giraffe we work with only the best quality employers, ensuring that candidates are placed in organisations that adhere to the BCEA and respect the rights of their workers. Once a candidate is placed we regularly follow up with them to see how they are finding their new job and to get their feedback on their new employer and role. We aim to help employers recruit the best candidates but we also have a duty to the jobseeker to make sure that they are placed in quality roles with great employers.


We hope you had a wonderful Workers’ Day and take some time out to remember the battles that workers in South Africa, and in other parts of the world, have fought over the years for rights and equality.

About Giraffe


Giraffe is a fully-automated digital recruitment solution that enables businesses to recruit high volumes of medium-skilled workers faster and more affordably than any other recruitment method. Because Giraffe has automated the entire recruitment process – from sourcing to screening to contacting to interview-scheduling, we can provide high volumes of quality candidates in as little as 48 hours.


For more information, visit www.giraffe.co.za


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