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So, you don’t think you need an employment contract for your employees? ‘It’s just a piece of paper’ you say. Or, ‘It’s ok we understand each other and they’re a good person’. Or maybe, “It doesn’t mean anything, anyway!”. Unfortunately the consequences of those comments can be costly in terms of money and time, so read on to understand why an employment contract is a non-negotiable of hiring any employee, be it in your home, on your farm, or in your business.

Employment Contracts are more than a terms and conditions of employment. Employment contracts protect your business, or in the case of a domestic employee, protect you as the domestic employer.  They provide a formal record of both parties’ expectations and agreements on important terms and conditions of employment such as; hours of work, leave, wage, bonuses, job position, notice periods and duties & responsibilities. In the case of a business, they may also contain information unique to your business which will protect your business in the event of a breach of contract. This can include conditions relating to the requirement to have a driver’s license, the use of a motor vehicle, cell phone, property, protection of clients and staff, confidential information, intellectual property, restraints and so on.

A compliant and lawfully drawn up Employment Contract can make sure you stay out of the CCMA and prevent you from paying additional monies at the end of employment.

Not only do they have to be lawful but they need to see the bigger picture beyond the law. Are bonus arrangements correctly drafted? Are they linked to productivity / performance? Are they actually going to achieve the desired results? How often are they payable? In regards to notice of termination periods, have you considered whether you are happy to give the same amount of notice that you require your employees? Is your employee casual or are they actually part time?

Below are some unique situations which would be covered in a well thought-out and legally compliant customised employment contract:

  • Bonus arrangements need to be carefully and correctly drafted. If this is not done accurately it can cost you as the employer a lot of money!
  • Expecting employees to provide long notice periods, for example, 6 months. This might seem ok but not when you have to terminate and pay 6 months in lieu of notice.
  • Not having an employment contract at all and therefore having a dispute based around what is due on termination of employment.
  • What deductions are being taken off your employee’s weekly or monthly payslip? Are these deductions all in line with South African Labour law? Are you deducting too much or too little?

Employment contracts protect employers. An employment contract certainly isn’t an unnecessary expense, it protects you and your business and can ultimately save you money!

At we draft customised, legally compliant employment contracts, giving you peace of mind. We can also register your employees for UIF and submit the monthly returns on your behalf. Our contract packs all include payslips, attendance registers and copies of the Acts that you are required to have available for your employee. Domestic employment contracts are drafted in accordance with Sector 7 requirements and Farm Worker contracts are drafted in accordance with Sector 13 requirements, ensuring that you are operating within the boundaries of the law at all times.

Visit or email [email protected] to get compliant today!