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Why you should always issue employment documents in writing

by , 27 February 2013
'Everyone has heard the phrase 'get it in writing'. The reason for that is simple: If the parties fail to document their agreement in writing, there's always room for future disagreements,' says VW Legal.com. Here's how putting an employment contract in writing can protect you from any legal comebacks.

According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), you must give your employees the terms and conditions of their employment in writing.

'This document can take the form of a letter of employment, or you can create a more formal contract of employment. The form doesn't matter, it's the content that's important,' explains The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

According to Out-Law.com, by taking the time to carefully prepare a contract of employment for each employee, disputes and ambiguity about the employment relationship can be minimised.

It's important that you do this when your employee starts his employment. Overall, the purpose of an employment document is to regulate your relationship with your employee. This is done by setting out the terms and conditions of employment that'll apply for the duration of your employee's employment.

While the labour law offers your employee protection, it also allows you some degree of flexibility in what you can agree with your employee. You can protect yourself from any legal comebacks by issuing employees with a written employment document that complies with the law, but also fits in with your business requirements. It's of outmost importance that the contents of the employment document are explained to the employee in a language he understands.

Here's what you'll achieve by issuing employment documents in writing

  • You'll have the employee's written confirmation that he agrees with the contents of the contract. This means your employee can't then later challenge you on any aspect which you've agreed upon.
  • You'll have written evidence to prove the employee understood the employment contract and willingly agreed to it.

Anyone who qualifies as an employee should receive an employment document. And remember, you're breaking the law if you've employed any employee without an employment document.

Putting an employment document in writing will help you protect yourself from any legal comebacks.


Get practival solutions to all your employment contract issues here.

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