It is a legal requirement that all employees in South Africa are given a formal employment contract. This includes part-time, temporary and seasonal workers. In most cases an employment contract has to be signed before the Department of Home Affairs issue a work permit.
Permanent Contracts: This type of contract is issued after an offer has been made in writing to the prospective employee and the offer has been accepted.
Fixed-term Contracts: Also referred to as temporary contracts, these are similar to permanent contracts except that the start and end dates are specified. Where benefits such as pension or medical insurance apply they are detailed in the contract. The contract may also state that no benefits will be paid or claimed should the contract be terminated.
Project Contracts: This type of contract is normally allocated for a set period of time or for as long as the employer needs the employee for a particular project. This type of contract can also be terminated by either party with one month's written notice.
Most new contracts require a probation period where specified conditions must be met by both the employer and employee. The length of the probation period is set in the contract and may be up to three months. If the employee is dismissed during this time, they may appeal and request assistance from their trade union representative.
Part-time employment is readily available in South Africa and can refer to a number of different types of work such as holiday or vacation work, partial day work, evening work and occasional work. Generally, part-time work is considered to be less than 30 hours a week. All part-time workers must also have a contract of employment. Part-time workers who work for more than 24 hours a month are also entitled to paid annual leave.
Casual workers may include seasonal workers or employees working for a company during a busy period. In terms of legal rights, they must also be given a contract by their employer by the end of the first day of employment and are also covered by labour legislation.
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