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Basic Guide to Employment Contracts

Basic Guide to Employment Contracts

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act requires that employers give workers certain details of their employment in writing.


The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies to all employers and workers, but not –

  • members of the –
    • National Defence Force,
    • National Intelligence Agency, or
    • South African Secret Service; or
  • unpaid volunteers working for charity.

The section of the Act that regulates working hours does not apply to:

  • workers in senior management
  • sales staff who travel and regulate their own working hours
  • workers who work less than 24 hours in a month
  • workers who earn in excess of an amount stated in terms of  section 6 (3) of the Act
  • workers engaged in emergency work are excluded from certain provisions.

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Applies to all employers and workers and regulates leave, working hours, employment contracts, deductions, payslips, and termination.

Written Particulars of Employment

At the start of employment, employers must give workers a document containing the following information…

Based on Legislation in Section 29of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Employer and Worker Details

  • Employer’s full name
  • Employer’s address
  • Worker’s name
  • Worker’s occupation, or a brief description of the work

Employment Details

  • Place/s of work
  • Date of employment
  • Working hours and days of work

Payment Details

  • Salary or wage, or the rate and method of calculating wages
  • Rate for overtime
  • Any other cash payments
  • Any payments in kind and their value
  • Frequency of payment
  • Any deductions

Leave Details

  • Any leave to which the worker is entitled

Notice/Contract Period

  • Period of notice required for termination; or
  • Period of contract

Please Note:
The following does not apply to employers who employ less than 5 workers

  • Any period of employment with a previous employer that counts towards the period of employment
  • List of any other documents that form part of the contract and details of where the worker can get copies
  • Description of any council or sectoral determination which covers the employer’s business

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Originally appeared on on 06-08-2012. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of estome. estome accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the article, nor does the information contained herein constitute advice, legal or otherwise.

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