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.
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:
Are restraints of trade legal? Can they be enforced? The short answer is: yes. Restraints of trade form an integral part of many employment contracts. Without a restraint, the “main man” in the business, the one with access to key confidential information, could cripple your business as soon as s/he leaves and joins (or starts up) the opposition. If you’re the employer, you would want to know: What makes a restraint enforceable? How do you draft a legal restraint of trade? It is crucial that a restraint is properly worded if it is to stand up to the Courts’ scrutiny. Our law has always recognised the employer’s right to enforce restraints of trade in order to protect its “legitimate proprietary interests.” However, these interests must always be balanced with the employee’s right to work and earn a living.
With the fierce competitiveness facing most industries today, your business cannot afford to turn a blind eye to employees that simply aren’t performing. In addition to the direct expenses of having a poor performer on your payroll, there are also the hidden costs of correcting their mistakes, dealing with customer complaints, and the additional time needed to performance manage the employee. It is possible to dismiss an employee for incapacity. But if you would prefer to avoid the CCMA, this must be done very, very carefully!
These are the criteria that must be met for a written contract to be legally valid
Written Contracts, Agreements & Legal Documents
There was a time when people did business on a hand-shake. And if they encountered any problems, they’d take the dispute to court, and the court would decide on the matter. These days, most people prefer to enter into a written contract. With some exceptions, verbal agreements are still valid and can be upheld. But having a contract in writing lends certainty to what the parties have agreed. If something goes wrong, a properly written contract can protect both parties.
‘Do a background check first.’
How many times have you heard that advice before? Background checks refer to a search for information about the history of an individual. Put simply, these are ‘quick checks’ on a person’s character. If there is anything negative found on a person through personal history checks, you are better empowered to decide whether you want to transact or do business with that person. Ignorance, however, could cost you.
Get the paperwork right on every part of your enterprise
By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting CC
Being in the new world of an Entrepreneur or Business Owner can be daunting. Not knowing where to go, what to ask, when to ask and even if you do ask, having the remote possibility of someone actually knowing what you are talking about can and will make it of the most stressful times of your life. If you are not extremely careful, you could be paying ‘school fees’ for the rest of your business life, if you don’t get it right up front. So make sure that you have contracts and agreements in place. When looking for legal generic documents or help in terms of legal documents that have to be written up specifically, I always use www.agreementsonline.co.za. Simplify your life – get your contracts in place and get yourself legally safe – it will go a long way to alleviating stress.