Every employer is required by law (Basic Conditions of Employment Act – section 29) to provide the employee with a written contract of employment not later that the first day of commencement of employment.
Failure to do so could land the employer in jail for a term of imprisonment (section 93 of the BCEA) or to liability for a hefty fine (schedule 2 – BCEA).
Here’s what every employment contract should include:
Some key pieces of information to start with include the job title and the team or department with which the employee will work. Explain how performance will be evaluated and to whom the new employee will report.
Outline the compensation and benefits package. It should include the annual salary or hourly rate, information about raises, bonuses, or incentives and how these may be obtained. Explain what the benefits plan includes -- medical, dental, eye care, etc. - what percent the employer pays, and what percent the employee pays. If offered, include information about any fringe benefits.
Thoroughly explain the time off policy. How many paid vacation days are accrued per pay period? Also explain your expectations regarding sick days, family emergencies, or unpaid leave. Can employees make up hours by working after-hours and weekend events?
Define whether the new employee is an employee or contractor to ensure tax and insurance compliance.
The contract should clearly state if employment is ongoing or for a set term. It should also include when the employee is expected to work to define the employer-employee relationship.
Include the amount of hours the employee is expected to work and any flexible working options, like working from home or remotely while out of town. If the job requires working nights and weekends, explain when and how often.
Protect sensitive information like business trade secrets and client data by having the employee sign a confidentiality agreement within the contract. Instead of making this a separate contract or piece of paper, include it as a section of the employment contract and place a field in the section where new employees can sign digitally.
Clarify what’s OK and what’s not regarding the use of social media and email on company property. For example, if you don’t want employees to use company computers or mobile devices to update their personal social media channels or check personal email, say so. If you don’t want employees saying anything negative about work on social media, prohibit it.
Explain what is required for either party to terminate the relationship, including the amount of notice required and if it should be written.
While these basic elements are a good starting point, there are plenty of other things you can include to further define the role or the business relationship.
Ukomelela HR Solutions can assist you with this process:
For more information about our services, please contact us.