Employee and Recruitment

Basic Conditions of the Employment Act

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5.        TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT : Basic Conditions of Employment Act 1997 CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Application

This chapter does not apply to an employee who works less than 24 hours in a month for an employer.

5.2       Notice of termination of employment : Section 37

5.2.1   A contract of employment may be terminated on notice of not less than¾

(a)               one week, if the employee has been employed for six months  or less;

(b)               two weeks, if the employee has been employed for more than six months but not more than one year;

(c)               four weeks, if the employee has been employed for one year or more, or if a farm worker or domestic worker has been employed for more than six months.

5.2.2       A collective agreement may shorten the four weeks notice period to not less than two weeks.

5.2.3   Notice must be given in writing except when it is given by an illiterate employee.

5.2.4   The notice on termination of employment by an employer in terms of the Act does not prevent the employee challenging the fairness or lawfulness of the dismissal in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 or any other law.

5.3       Severance pay : Section 41

An employee dismissed for operational requirements or whose contract of employment is terminated in terms of section 38 of the Insolvency Act, 1936 is entitled to one week’s severance pay for every year of service.

5.4       Certificate of Service : Section 42

On termination of employment an employee is entitled to a certificate of service.


6.1       It is a criminal offence to employ a child under 15 years of age.

6.2 Children under 18 may not be employed to do work inappropriate for their age or that places them at risk.

6.3       Causing, demanding or requiring forced labour is a criminal offence.


7.1      A collective agreement concluded by a bargaining council may replace or exclude any basic condition of employment except the following:

(a)     the duty to arrange working time with regard to the health and safety and family responsibility of employees (S.7,9 and 13);

(b)     reduce the protection afforded to employees who perform night work(S. 17(3) and (4));

(c)      reduce annual leave to less than two weeks (S. 20);

(d)     reduce entitlement to maternity leave (S 25);

(e)     reduce entitlement to sick leave to the extent permitted (S. 22-24); and

(f)       prohibition of child and forced labour (S.48).

7.2       Collective agreements and individual agreements may only replace or exclude basic conditions of employment to the extent permitted by the Act or a sectoral determination (S.49).

7.3      The Minister of Labour may make a determination to vary or exclude a basic condition of employment. This can also be done on application by an employer or employer organisation (S. 50).

7.4      A determination may not be granted unless a trade union representing the employees has consented to the variation or has had the opportunity to make representations to the Minister.  A copy of any determination must be displayed by the employer at the work place and must be made available to employee’s (S.50).

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  1. Thabo Mosebi Reply

    I work for Graftech SA since 08/11/2010 and I have joined that company as a millwright. From day 1 of my employment in this company, I have been acting as a supervisor. I have not been appointed and my bosses do not give me answers f I raise questions about my appointment.
    What does our South African law say about relieving this long without appointment?

  2. Hi! which section of employment law deals with verbal abuse offences and what can be charges for this offence

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