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To avoid prosecution by the DoL, give your employee this document when you hire him

by , 21 January 2015
The DoL is taking a very hard line on non-compliance and is watching your company closely. It made this clear last year when it put in place changes to the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act and tripled non-compliance penalties.

Thankfully, avoiding prosecution is as easy as handing your employee one document when you hire him.

Read on to find out what it is...

The one document you must give your employee when you hire him

You must give your employee an employment contract when you hire him.
The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says you're breaking the law if you employ any employees without this document. And, in terms of Section 93 and Schedule 2 of the BCEA, you could face prosecution for this.
To avoid the wrath of the DoL, give your employees their contracts of employment, in writing, when they start work.
In addition, you must update your employees' employment contract and give him a new copy in these instances:
  • The law changes;
  • You and your employee agree on new terms and conditions of employment; and
  • You give your employee a pay rise.
Note that the BCEA also requires you to retain your employees' employment contract for at least three years after you terminate his employment.
So what's the big deal with employment contracts anyway and why does the DoL insist you comply with this requirement?

*********** Hot off the press ************
Make sure your policies, forms and contracts are legally correct every time

Can you answer these questions?

  • Does your chairman cover all the necessary points when chairing a disciplinary hearing?
  • Are your employment contracts up-to-date and do they include the minimum law requirements?
  • Do you have all the relevant documentation to win your case if a dispute arises with an employee?
  • Have you given all your past employees a certificate of service?

If you didn't answer yes to all of these questions then you need to get your hands on this toolkit to make sure everything you do is legally correct or you'll land up at the CCMA.


Here's why an employment contract is important and why the DoL insists you comply with this BCEA requirement

An employment contract controls your relationship with your employee.
It spells out:
  • The terms and conditions of employment that apply;
  • What you pay your employee;
  • Your employee's duties;
  • When the contract starts and ends;
  • When and how you can terminate the contract, and so on.
The DoL insists you comply with this BCEA requirement so you can protect your employee's rights and yours.
As ehow.com explains, 'an employment contract is beneficial to both the employee and the employer. It spells out the rights and obligations of each party.'
'It protects the job security of the employee and protects the employer from certain risks such as the release of confidential information after the term of employment ends,' adds the site.
So to avoid prosecution from the DoL, never hire an employee without an employment contract.
PS: Your contracts of employment must be clear, easy to read and understand. They must also deal with all aspects of your employment relationship with your employee. If you're not sure how to draft employment contracts or about what type of clauses to include to make sure they're legally compliant, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service. It will show you everything you need to know. 

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