Significantly the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) only requires written employment particulars to be given to employees and does not require employers to have signed employment contracts. Section 29 simply requires employers to provide all employees with basic written particulars. To prove that this has been done senior managers may require employees to confirm in writing that they have received the particulars. But employees cannot be forced to sign. So if employees refuse to sign simply ensure that a witness is present to sign as proof of the particulars having been handed to the employee. If senior managers want to include other terms in the agreement then it will be necessary to obtain consent in writing.
“Section 29. Written particulars of employment.
(1) An employer must supply an employee, when the employee commences employment, with the following particulars in writing—
(a) the full name and address of the employer;
(b) the name and occupation of the employee, or a brief description of the work for which the employee is employed;
(c) the place of work, and, where the employee is required or permitted to work at various places, an indication of this;
(d) the date on which the employment began;
(e) the employee’s ordinary hours of work and days of work;
( f ) the employee’s wage or the rate and method of calculating wages;
(g) the rate of pay for overtime work;
(h) any other cash payments that the employee is entitled to;
(i) any payment in kind that the employee is entitled to and the value of the payment in kind;
( j) how frequently remuneration will be paid;
(k) any deductions to be made from the employee’s remuneration;
(l) the leave to which the employee is entitled;
(m) the period of notice required to terminate employment, or if employment is for a specified period, the date when employment is to terminate;
(n) a description of any council or sectoral determination which covers the employer’s business;
(o) any period of employment with a previous employer that counts towards the employee’s period of employment;
(p) a list of any other documents that form part of the contract of employment, indicating a place that is reasonably accessible to the employee where a copy of each may be obtained.
(2) When any matter listed in subsection (1) changes—
(a) the written particulars must be revised to reflect the change; and
(b) the employee must be supplied with a copy of the document reflecting the change.
(3) If an employee is not able to understand the written particulars, the employer must ensure that they are explained to the employee in a language and in a manner that the employee understands.
(4) Written particulars in terms of this section must be kept by the employer for a period of three years after the termination of employment”.