Signing a job contract

Signing a job contract is great fun once the formal stuff is out of the way.

Signing the contract

Once you’ve landed your perfect job after having mastered the interview process, then it’s time to make things official. Your new employer will prepare the tailored employment contracts suited to you and your new position in the firm.

What makes up an employment contract?

Contracts can be verbal or in writing, but in most cases it is in writing. So what goes into this piece of paper and in some cases electronic agreements, what makes them so important? Employment contracts aren’t simply words passed from one individual to another, it’s an official documentation that is binding by law and put into effect to protect both the employer and the employee. The contract will usually include but not be limited to the names of the parties involved and will have information such as the employment date, working times, job title, probation period, salaries, deduction, expenses, holidays, sick leave, disabilities and notice periods.

As an employee signing the contract means you’re good to go right? In most cases that’s exactly what it means, but what can you look out for when it comes to employment contracts?

The legal part of signing a job contract

All employment contracts must comply with the Basic Conditions Employment Act (BCEA), there are several types of contracts some include fixed term, project base contracts and temporary contracts, just to name a few. The following are some important pointers to look out for on a contract when employed at a new job:

• Location of the business – the contract must state the physical address where the employee will be working
• Clear description of the employee status – The contract must state whether or not the employee is permanent or casual worker
• Start date – The start date should be clearly stated in the contract
• Working hours – The contract should state the normal working hours and if there are any extras such as overtime these should also be included in the contract
• Wages/salaries calculation/overtime – There should be a method stated for how the wages or salaries of the new employee will be calculated, as well, as overtime calculations and or other payments like bonuses incentives etc
• Payment frequency – It should also state what when and how often the employee will be paid
• Deductions on employee remuneration – a clear indication should state how deductions will occur and for what reasons, UIF, Pension etc
• Contract termination – The terms of the contract termination should be clearly emphasised