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To avoid being guilty of unfair labour practices, familiarise yourself with these three points about salary increases

by , 03 November 2014
Salary increases are the most common cause of disputes between employers and employees.

If you're not careful when dealing with salary increases, you could be guilty of unfair labour practices.

Since that's a risk you can't afford to take, familiarise yourself with these three points about salary increases.


Three things you need to know about salary increases

 
#1: You don't have to give your employee an annual salary increase
 
According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, your employee doesn't have a legal right to an annual increase. You don't even have to negotiate increases, unless:
 
  • Your employment contracts say you will;

 

  • You have a collective agreement with a trade union; or

 

  • There's a bargaining council agreement or sectoral determination that applies to your sector that says you have to.
 
If none of the above applies, you can decide if you'll give your employees an increase. If you decide to give them a bonus, put it in writing and state how much you'll give them.

 
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#2: You don't have to negotiate salary increases annually
 
You don't legally have to negotiate or give annual increases. But, if it's in a collective agreement with a union, or your employment contracts, you do.
 
#3: You can't unilaterally take away the right to an increase if it's guaranteed
 
If you guarantee your employees' salary increases in their employment contracts, you can't just remove this right and replace the employment contract. This would make you guilty of a breach of contract.
 
If, for example, you want to change a 13th cheque with a discretionary annual increase, you must get approval from your employee.
 
Familiarising yourself with these three points will go a long way in helping you avoid being guilty of unfair labour practices.

PS: For more information on salary increases, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
 

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