20 tips for employers

Tips for complying with labour law – non-compliance holds a serious business risk for employers, often underestimated and left unaddressed… Labour law sets strict requirements that employers must comply with, irrespective of the number of employees. Employers should make the mind shift to not only comply with labour law, but to use it to protect their businesses and their rights as employers.

20 tips employers should pay attention to:

  1. Ensure you have an employment contract in place with every employee – the employment contract is the most important document in the workplace and forms the basis of the relationship between the employer and employee. This is one of the key tips to protect your rights as the employer. Ensure however, that you don’t settle for a generic employment contract, but rather opt for a purpose-built one according to your business.

  2. Use fixed term contracts carefully and in line with legislation – employers must clearly understand that to disguise what is actually permanent employment in the form of a fixed term contract is illegal.

  3. Make provisions for deductions in the employment contract – no deductions, except for statutory deductions, can be made without the employee’s consent.

  4. Address time periods in the employment contract with regards to short time, rest periods, compressed working weeks, etc.

  5. Implement a formal retirement age.

  6. Ensure every employee has a job description with achievable goals.  Employees need to know what is expected of them and what standard applies to performance.  Continuous evaluation and training is essential to assess work performance.  Give recognition to employees who achieve goals and perform well.

  7. Pay at least the national minimum wage.

  8. Keep a copy of the Sectoral Determination or Main Collective Agreement (if applicable to your business industry) in the workplace and make it available to employees.

  9. Display the posters of legislative summaries in the workplace – Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Employment Equity Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act.

  10. Use the disciplinary code to enforce the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

  11. Verify if you are considered to be a “designated employer” in terms of the Employment Equity Act and must comply with certain requirements.

  12. Ensure your disciplinary code is relevant and up to date – every workplace must have a relevant disciplinary code.  The disciplinary code is important to ensure that there are clear rules in the workplace for employees to follow.  When these rules are broken, the employer can apply discipline in accordance with the applicable sanctions as listed in the code.

  13. Every business is unique – implement policies that are fair to address specific issues in your environment.

  14. Have regular consultations with employees – effective communication creates an environment receptive to growth.  This creates a platform for employees to discuss their thoughts, ideas and any specific needs.

  15. Issue warnings in line with the disciplinary code.

  16. Be consistent when applying discipline to avoid discrimination in the workplace.

  17. Always follow the correct procedure, especially when the employment relationship is terminated.

  18. Implement an attendance register that also records hours worked – the payslip must also reflect this information.

  19. Ensure that you, as the employer, are registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Commissioner.

  20. Implement a grievance procedure – it is imperative that the employer establish internal procedures to give employees the opportunity to bring any unhappiness or unsatisfactory working conditions to the attention of the employer.
Tips for the best tip? Get access to a support base for practical advice and assistance to continuously comply with labour law – take note that through membership with the LWO, you get 24/7 access to our legal department for advice and assistance. Labour law applies to every employer; mistakes are often costly and can be limited or avoided by being proactive.



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