The basic employment contract

An employment contract is a document between a worker and their employer, and it sets the terms and conditions for employment. It can be a simple one-page contract, or a multi-page, complicated document filled with extensive details. We have a look at what goes into a basic contract of employment.

Why is a contract important?
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act states that all workers be given a document containing the details of their employment. Having a written contract – as opposed to a verbal one – gives you recourse to settle any disputes and misunderstandings that may occur at a later stage.

What is included in a contract?

When an employee starts at a new job, they must be given a document that contains the following essential data:

Employer and employee details:
– Full names of both
– Employer’s address
– Employee’s occupation or a short description of their tasks

Employment data:
– Date of hiring
– Place of work
– Working hours and days of work

Payment information:
– Salary or the rate and method of calculating wages
– Overtime rate
– Frequency of payment
– Allowances and benefits
– Any other cash payments
– Deductions

Leave
– Any leave that the worker is entitled to

Notice period:
– Period of notice for termination; or
– Period of contract

The Internet is filled with templates for legal documents, including contracts, but to ensure that your terms of employment are watertight and are in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, it’s essential that you use the services of a labour lawyer.

Once you have your contract, remember to get your employee to actually sign it. Furthermore, any changes to the law, or amendments to your employee’s working conditions or pay, need to be updated on the written contract and a new copy signed, and given to the employee.

A contract is essential as it can protect both the worker and the employer in the event of a dispute. By creating a contract that is reasonable and understandable, it sets the foundation for a successful and productive working relationship between the worker and their boss.

At LEAP we understand the diverse needs of corporate procurement, and that’s why we shun the cookie-cutter approach and tailor programmes to benefit both entrepreneurs and businesses. For professional advice contact us on 011 449 7074 or visit www.leapco.co.za.

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