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THE IMPORTANCE OF A WRITTEN CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT | ECASA
THE IMPORTANCE OF A WRITTEN CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT By Stephen Khola, ECA(SA) National Labour Relations & HR Director As an Industrial Relations (IR) practitioner, I come across many instances where both employers and employees tend to undermine the importance of concluding written contracts of employment. In fact, many a time when receiving a briefing from an employer in preparation for a case in which I have to represent the employer at a dispute resolution forum, I often hear the words, "... there is no written contract of employment, therefore he cannot prove that he was my employee..." This is a serious fallacy that can only end badly for an employer at the CCMA. Admittedly, there are no prescribed formalities for an employment contract to be in writing, save in instances where a person is employed on a fixed term contract and earns below the earnings threshold, and a contract of apprenticeship or learnership. Where an employment contract is not in writing, one cannot simply