Category Archives: Employment Contracts

Types of Employment Policies & Procedures

Employment Policies and Procedures are necessary for the business owner to establish company rules and procedures and to ensure that their employees fully understand their rights, obligations and the necessary steps to take in various employment-related situations. After reading and signing an Employment Contract that references the employer’s policies & procedures, the employee becomes bound to abide by the Employment Policies and rules of the employer. A company’s Employment Policies must comply with South African labour law, and must not violate the employees’ rights. However, they are enforceable if drafted and implemented correctly, and form a useful tool in protecting the interests of the company.

Contracts of employment are a legal requirement

Are your contracts, agreements, forms and documents all in order? In the course of our dealings with businesses, we have often come across instances where an employer has appointed staff without a proper letter of appointment or Employment Contract. Or they can’t find the employee’s written terms of employment when they are asked to produce them. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act states that an employer must provide all employees with the terms and conditions of their employment in writing. This document can be in the form of a letter of appointment, or it can be a more formal Contract of Employment. What is important is the content of this letter or employment contract, agreement or document. The contents also need to be explained to the newly-appointed employee to ensure that he or she understands what is expected.

Effect of the Recent Amendments to the Labour Relations Act

After the recent amendments to the Labour Relations Act, certain temporary and fixed term employees, including labour broker employees, may now be deemed to be permanent employees. The Labour Relations Amendment Act has increased the protection afforded to labour broker employees and temporary employees employed under fixed term and part-time contracts. The effect of these amendments is that:

Smoking policy

Medical tests have proven that by being a second-hand smoker (or passive smoker) you run the risk of getting lung cancer or heart related diseases, just as much as the active smoker, simply by inhaling the cigarette smoke. Tests have also indicated that tobacco smoke causes migraine and asthma attacks amongst both the active and passive smoker. Consequently, the National Department of Health has placed a duty on all employers to provide (as far as practically possible) a safe and healthy environment to all their employees.

Paying for overtime

Do you have to pay staff for overtime? Well, here’s a snippet of information that can add value to your company’s bottom line, although your employees may not particularly like us much for revealing this to you: not all employees are entitled to overtime pay. In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the following employees do not have a legal entitlement to overtime pay:

Sexual harassment policy

Sexual harassment can be defined as the unwanted or unacceptable conduct of sexual nature that can be regarded as offensive, humiliating or intimidating and could have a negative impact on the work environment. A Sexual Harassment Policy acknowledges the right of all employees, customers, clients or suppliers to work in an environment free from sexual harassment.

Agreeing to a penalty interest

Charging or paying interest on outstanding debts can be perplexing. We often get legal advice from friends who aren’t lawyers, which leads us to believe that the way we are doing our business is the right way. Here’s what you need to know when you charge or agree to interest:

If your debtor is in default, interest can be claimed from the date of demand (if there is no penalty interest agreement), or from the date the payment became due (if there is an agreement to pay penalty interest). Compound interest can only be claimed if there is an agreement for compound interest. If there is no agreement, then only simple interest can be claimed.

Insist on a medical certificate

When must a medical certificate be produced by an employee? Can an employer refuse to pay an employee who has been off sick?

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act states that an employer is not required to pay an employee if the employee:

  • has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period; and
  • on request by the employer, does not produce a medical certificate stating that the employee was unable to work for the duration of the employee’s absence on account of sickness or injury.

There are also certain requirements that a Medical Certificate needs to meet. The Certificate must be legible, and must contain the following information:

drafting employment contracts blog

Drafting employment contracts

What to include in an Employment Contract

When you are the owner of a company, your main goal is to conduct your business in a manner that will acquire a good reputation over time and bring in profits that will give the business a life of its own. For this to happen, a business requires the involvement of others. Most importantly, the company will need employees who vest their time and energy for your business. Employment Contracts form the written proof of their commitment, and in the long run they benefit all the parties involved.

Sub Contractor Agreements

Hiring a Sub-Contractor? Have a Legal Agreement in Place

Often when a contractor or consultant wins a business deal, they hire a sub-contractor to do part of or all the work at an agreed fee. When hiring a subcontractor, it is important to have a legal terms & conditions, in the form of a Sub-Contractor Agreement, which both of you can sign before the work begins. This is a legally binding agreement, which should be drafted by a lawyer. An effective subcontractor agreement outlines the terms of the contract, which include the specific work to be done, fees charged and payment.