What is a Contract?

What is a Contract and employment in South Africa? Find out about employment contract law, types of job contract, elements of a work contract etc. in South Africa
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Every employer is required by law (the Basic Conditions of Employment Act – section 29) to provide an employee with a written contract of employment not later that the first day of commencement of employment.

This vital document regulates the terms and conditions of employment between the employer and the employee.

The contract will state what the employee is entitled to receive in terms of company policy, company benefits, and labour legislation, and what the employer will provide in terms of benefits and labour legislation.

It also regulates the behaviour of the employee in the workplace - because all company policies and procedures, as well as the disciplinary code, form a part of the employment contract.

Up to Date

The employment document must be updated when:

  • The law changes
  • The employee and employer agree to changes in the terms and conditions
  • The  employee’s pay or benefits increase

Different Contracts

Even part-time staff must have a contract. The law applies if employees are temporary or part-time, whether they:

  • Have a fixed employment period
  • Only work one day a week
  • Only work every weekend
  • Only work half-day

In other words, anyone who qualifies as an ‘employee’ should receive this document.

They are various types of employment contracts such as permanent employment, fixed term employment and project employment.

No Contract, no Grievance

Remember - if there is no contract, it is not ony illegal but it is extremely difficult to take action if either an employee or an employer has a grievance, or wants to query a situation in the workplace.

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