Employment Contract – What all Employers and Employees should know.

If you are an employee (as defined in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 – “the Act”), you must insist on having a written employment contract setting out all the details of your employment. You should also ask for a copy of the contract once signed.

An employment contract may be for an indefinite period or for a fixed period (either a fixed period of time or for the duration of a specific project). Employers should guard against using fixed-term contracts for their employees which are rolled over continuously. This may give the employee/s the expectation that the contract will continue to roll over.  When this does not happen, the employee/s may approach the CCMA for assistance on the basis that there was a reasonable expectation that the contract would continue to roll over.

The Act sets out certain issues which need to be included in employment contracts. And you need to make sure you comply with this legislation. It may also be useful to deal with certain other issues not specified in the legislation – such as restraints of trade, confidentiality, intellectual property rights and probationary periods.

It is worth noting that employees working less than 24 hours in a month are not covered by the Act. Employees earning above the statutory threshold (currently R205 433,30 per annum) are excluded from certain sections of the Act.

For assistance and advice as to which contract is best for your circumstances, what should be included in that contract, and what your rights and obligations are either as employee or employer, please contact Claire Delport or call 031 266 2530.