Find a Lawyer That Will Fight for You
The labour and employment laws of South Africa are in place to ensure fair employer and employee relationships. However, there may be employers, especially ones with fewer than ten employees, that neglect to adhere to Codes of Good Practice.
As an employee that doesn’t belong to a trade union and knowing that the unemployment rate is high, you may decide to keep quiet and keep working for an employer regardless of your rights. If such hinders you from being able to care for your family, you will need to find a lawyer that will fight for you. The employer, according to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, must provide you with a contract of employment worded in such a way that it is understandable.
The above being said, many employees work without written employment contracts, because they fear dismissal if they speak up. Fortunately, if you are one of those, you will be glad to know that should the employer dismiss you for such, you will be able to take legal action.
More about the employment contract
The general employment contract is also the letter of appointment and includes the company’s policy regarding hours to be worked, duties, and payment. Before signing the employment contract you have the right to get clarification on any aspects included to ensure that you are in agreement with the terms of employment.
The contract must include the details of the employer including name, address and contact information. It must also include the employee’s full name, job title, date for commencement of the employment period, the hours to be worked, whether the employee is a contract, part-time or permanent employee, the lunch hours and the probation period.
What is the probation period?
It is the period that makes it possible for the employer to assess the employee’s contribution and compatibility with the company culture. It is also an opportunity for the employee to show that they’ll be an asset to the company. It can be described as a cooling off period where one or both parties can decide to terminate the agreement without having to go through a lengthy notice of termination period.
The employer also has the right to insist on performance expectations through the stipulation of the employee’s responsibilities and any relevant targets that must be met.
The remuneration structure, payment dates and benefits are detailed in addition to when payment can be expected.
Termination and notices
The contract should stipulate the required notice period for termination of employment and what is required during the notice period.
The contract should state the leave benefits such as annual leave days, sick leave, compassionate leave, study leave and family responsibility leave.
The employer can include specific restrictions such as trademark usage, restraint in usage of company resources and confidentiality aspects.
Note that even if you are employed on a part-time basis, such as for a holiday period or only one or two days a week, you should still insist on an employment contract. If you work more than 24 hours in a calendar month, you are still entitled to get annual leave benefits. You are a part-time employee if you work fewer than 30 hours weekly. Whereas part-time mostly refers to recurring work at the employer, casual refers to work only performed at the employer during specific periods such as during harvesting season. Even seasonal workers are entitled to employment contracts.
If your employer disregards your right to an employment contract you need to find a labour lawyer that will fight for you and Allardyce & Partners fits the profile. Contact the Allardyce & Partners Attorneys at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 011 234 2125.
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.