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If you employ workers on fixed-term contracts, here's what the amended LRA says

by , 09 October 2014
The amendments to the Labour Relations Act (LRA), published on 18 August 2014 by the Department of Labour (DoL), have far reaching consequences if you employ workers on fixed-term contracts.

It's crucial that you get familiar with the amendments so you can get in line with the Act and avoid penalties when the amendments become effective.

Keep reading to find out about the LRA's fixed-term contracts amendment.


The long awaited amendments to the LRA have been published! They have this to say about fixed-term contracts
 

ENSafrica reports that in terms of the LRA, you can only employ workers on a fixed-term contract or a successive fixed term contract for longer than three months if the nature of the work is of a genuinely limited or definite duration or, if you can show a justifiable reason for fixing the term of the contract.
 
What does the LRA mean by 'justifiable reason'?
 
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Here's what the LRA means by 'justifiable reason'

 
In terms of the LRA, justifiable reasons include replacing a temporarily absent employee, meeting a temporary increase (i.e. less than 12 months) in the volume of work, seasonal work, etc.
 
If the fixed-term employment doesn't meet these requirements, the employee is deemed to be employed indefinitely and you mustn't treat him less favourably than a permanent employee who performs the same or similar work, unless there's a justifiable reason for different treatment.
 
Please note that these rights don't apply to workers who earn above the Basic Conditions of Employment (BCEA) earnings threshold or to small or new employers. (Small or new employers include those who employ less than ten employees or employ less than 50 where the business has been in operation for less than two years.)
 
Now that you know about this LRA amendment regarding fixed-term contracts, take steps to comply so you can avoid penalties when the amendments come into effect.
 
PS: We recommend you direct your queries regarding the amendments to our labour experts at the Labour & HR Club.
 


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