Do you know what to include in an appointment letter?

Employers are required to give employees written particulars of employment. This requirement is set out in section 28 and 29 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Section 29, which sets out detailed requirements, which must be contained in the written particulars of employment, does not apply to employees who work less than 24 hours per month for an employer. In addition subsection 29 (n), (o) and (p) do not apply to employers who employ less than 5 employees.

The written particulars of employment need not be in the form of a contract of employment, although it is desirable that employees are issued with contracts of employment on commencement of their employment with the company.

The written particulars should include all the legal requirements detailed below, or consist of a letter of appointment with minimal information plus reference to additional material that defines the conditions of employment.

When any matter listed below changes the written particulars must be revised to reflect the change; and the employee must be supplied with a copy of the document reflecting the change. 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. The employer must keep written particulars in terms of this section for a period of three years after the termination of employment.

Does your contract/letter set out the following details: Check Yes/ No for each item =

# Contract details:

• Full name of employer and employee
• Address of employer
• Place of work of employee, and, where the employee is required or permitted to work at various places, an indication of this
• Title of job or nature of the work or a brief job description
• Date of commencement of employment

# Pay and benefits

• Pay / salary details
• Rate of pay for overtime work (if eligible for overtime pay)
• Any other cash payments that the employee is entitled to
• Any payment in kind that the employee is entitled to and the value of the payment in kind (e.g. accommodation)
• Any deductions to be made from the employee's remuneration (e.g. Pension /Medical Aid)
• How frequently remuneration will be paid
• Method of payment and method of calculating wages
• Additional benefits, and any conditions under which they apply, e.g. period of service or achievement of targets
• Pension scheme - whether one exists, and if so conditions
• Approvals for any deductions from pay, e.g. pension scheme other than those required by law (e.g. UIF, Bargaining Council levies, PAYE)

# Nature of the contract
• Type of contract: permanent, temporary, fixed term
• Duration of a temporary contract or termination date for a fixed term contract
• Period of notice required to terminate employment, or if employment is for a specified period, the date when employment is to terminate

# Hours of work
• Employee's ordinary hours of work
• Days of work
• Details of break and rest periods
• Additional hours and/or overtime requirements
• Timekeeping and attendance requirements

# Leave
• Annual leave entitlement
• Conditions relating to taking leave, e.g. present company holidays or notice requirements
• Details of any other paid leave entitlements
• Sick leave arrangements and conditions of any benefits

# Other conditions
• Any collective or 3rd party agreement which affects the employee's terms and conditions (e.g. Sectoral Determinations, Bargaining Council Main Agreements)
• Any other documentation, which is part of employee's terms and conditions, or where the contract conditions are laid down (e.g. employee manual, Employment Regulation Order)

# Disciplinary and grievance procedures
• Details of the disciplinary procedure
• Conditions under which the employer can terminate the contract e.g. gross misconduct
• Grievance procedure

# Equity
• Reference to the unacceptability of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and the policy/ies, which cover this

# Health & safety
• Health & safety requirements
• Employer and employee responsibilities
• Prohibition of smoking in the workplace

# Business Protection
• Protection of business information
• Details of confidentiality requirements
• Use and mis-use of electronic communications and Internet
• Storage of personal Information
• Recovery of personal telephone call charges

# Contract management
• Do you keep copies of written statements of all current employees?
• Do you keep copies of written statements of all previous employees for at least a year?