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in the workplace

If there is no contract of employment,

the employee is not a permanent


The employment relationship comes

into effect the moment an employee

starts working – regardless of whether

the relationship is recorded in a verbal

or written agreement.

Should the employee grant permission,

the employer need not deduct UIF; UIF

does not apply to foreign employees

All employers must register with the

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and

ensure that all employees who work more

than 24 hours a month are also registered

and that UIF contributions are deducted

from their remuneration.

The employer can dismiss an employee

immediately for serious misconduct

An employer cannot dismiss an employee

for misconduct, even for a valid reason,

without holding a disciplinary hearing to

ensure that a fair procedure is followed and

that there is a substantive reason to justify

the dismissal.

The presiding officer at a disciplinary

hearing helps the employer to prove

the case

The presiding officer must be objective.

Duties include holding the hearing in good

order, recording a finding or ‘guilty’ or ‘not

guilty’ on the grounds of all the evidence

given during the hearing and making a

recommendation on an appropriate sanc­

tion in line with the disciplinary code.

Suspension is always without pay

When an employee is willing and able to

carry out their duties, but the employer has

suspended the employee, it is always with

pay, for example pending a disciplinary

hearing. When the employee is unable to

carry out his/her duties, the employer can

suspend the employee without pay, for

example when the employee is under

the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The employee has dismissed himself

by deserting

An employee cannot dismiss himself. When

an employee deserts (is absent from work

for more than five days without inform­

ing the employer or providing a reason),

the employer must attempt to contact the

employee. The employee can be dismissed

after the right procedure has been followed,

including a disciplinary hearing.

The employer can use a fixed-term

service contract as probationary period

Using a fixed-term service contract as

a probationary period is unfair labour

practice. The termination of the contract

after completion of the fixed term can be

regarded as unfair dismissal. Employers

must understand clearly that disguising

permanent employment as a fixed-term

service contract is illegal.

When an employee visits the clinic, paid

sick leave is involved

An employee is only entitled to paid sick

leave when he is unable to work due to

amedical condition. The employer is not

required to remunerate the employee

when he asks for time off to visit the clinic

to obtain medication, or in the event of

regular visits to the clinic or doctor.