Labour Law Services

Labour Law Services – Avoid Mistakes in Drafting Employment Contracts

As an employer, you want to protect your interests, but also provide a fair employment contract to your employees. Since you are not necessarily familiar with all the labour and employment laws and their amendments, it is important to make use of attorneys to help you draft employment contracts to ensure validity, enforceability, and fairness in compliance with legislative requirements. To this end, we recommend making use of our labour law expertise.

Our attorneys work with employment contracts, labour law-related issues, and disputes on a daily basis. One of our services is the drafting or reviewing of employment contracts, as such often forms the base of disputes. Rather than making a crucial mistake through incorrect wording of the employment contracts, make use of our services in this regard.


Do You Have to Provide a Written Employment Contract?

Though a verbal employment contract is valid, it is not recommended. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act stipulates that you must provide the employee with a letter of employment that states the details of the parties to the agreement, the nature of the job, employment address, and the tasks that the employee must perform. You must state the remuneration, intervals of payment, annual leave, remuneration for overtime, and pension fund where relevant. You also need to state the notice and employment termination requirements. In effect, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act thus makes it a legal requirement to provide your employees with written employment agreements.


What About the Restraint of Trade Clause?

You can include a restraint of trade clause in the contract if you need to protect proprietary interests and want to prevent the employee upon termination of the employment from working for a competitor while having access to confidential information. However, we strongly recommend making use of our services in this regard to ensure the restraint of trade clause can be enforced.

If the restraint of trade clause is too broad or too restrictive, it cannot be enforceable. You cannot prohibit an employee from freely choosing their occupation or profession and make a living. If the skills the employee gains from working at your firm are the only skills that the employee can offer another employer, then it is hardly possible for the former employee to make a living if prohibited from working in the particular trade for a specific period. The geographical area covered, the reason for the clause (thus interests you want to protect), and the time limit are all factors that the court will consider in determining whether an employee can be released from the restraint of trade. Avoid problems by ensuring correct wording of the clause using our labour law services in this regard.


Difference Between the Fixed-Term and Permanent Employment Contract

The employment contract is an agreement, whereby the employee agrees to perform certain duties and adhere to specific rules in return for remuneration. Once the terms of employment have been agreed upon, the permanent employment contract is in effect. However, it does not have a specific date included for the termination of the employment agreement. The fixed-term contract is the same as the permanent employment agreement, but it is for a fixed period. In both instances, the person agreeing to perform specific job functions in return for remuneration is the employee. With the fixed-term contract, you need to stipulate whether certain employment benefits apply. To this end, we also recommend making use of our labour law services to ensure a fair and valid employment agreement.

Avoid mistakes in drafting and wording the employment contract by making use of our labour law services. Call us at 011 234 2125 for assistance in drafting employment contracts.


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.

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