What you need to know about contracts of employment

In South Africa, where labour laws are quite a handful and almost everybody needs a labour consultant to try and ensure they do things right, a contract of employment is something that you do not want to drop the ball with.

Here are some things we think your contract should have:

  • Full names and ID / Passport number of the employee, as well as contact number and address
  • Date of commencement of the contract
  • Position and obligations:
    • In this part of the contract, you need to specify what you are employing the person as and when you are governed by a Bargaining Council – you should most definitely refer to the definitions of their scheduled employees. (click here to look at our NBCRFLI-aligned contracts)
  • Probationary period:
    • This is probably the most overlooked schedule in the LRA (Schedule 8) that employers REALLY need to utilise in their contracts of employment. Instead of going the long route when you realise someone is not fit for your company – make use of the probation clause. The thing is that usually it goes both ways – the employee who doesn’t fit into your organisation also doesn’t want to be there. A probation clause saves both of you a lot of unnecessary stress.
  • Remuneration and deductions:
    • Here you need to specify what the salary / wage will be that the employee will get. Employers need to PLEASE stop promising a “nett salary of ___” it is almost impossible to achieve when taxes and UIF and levies starts to be included. The better practice is to state a package – basic salary of so much, travel allowance.. etc.
  • Working hours: this is a no-brainer, employees need to know what portions of their day they are selling to you for a salary 🙂
  • Leave:
    • It is important here to describe all the types of leave (click here for our article on annual leave) and how it works. Annual leave, sick leave, family responsibility leave, maternity leave etc. Refer to the Bargaining Council Collective Agreement where applicable and ensure that this is in line with their rules.
  • Company codes, rules and standards:
    • We find it is important to have a standard set of documents that contain the various policies and procedures at a workplace. Ensure that you do an induction for all new employees to introduce your workplace rules to everyone.
    • Do not add it into you contract of employment – but do make a very clear reference to every single policy or procedure document that you have (we have a few of these available in our HR Shop).
  • Termination:
    • The procedure to be followed and notice periods to be implemented need to be specified in your employment contract as well. Refer to the Bargaining Council rules here as well to ensure that everything is aligned to their rules.

(Should you be in the Road Freight and Logistics Industry – we have done all the work for you already!

Click here to access our online shop with all the different types of contracts and polices you could need.)

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