South Africa has an official unemployment rate of 34,5%. This creates a climate where it would seem crazy not to immediately sign a contract.
Labour law expert at Moni Attorneys INC Natasha Moni explained that it is extremely important to read the fine print and not just focus on the salary you will be earning.
Moni explains that contracts are guided by the Basic Employment Act, and the contract you sign must be inline with the act or be more favourable or industry-specific.
Contracts must include information about where you will be expected to work, how long you will be expected to work and information about annual and sick leave.
It's advisable for employees to understand the tax rate for different salaries. This is as income tax is paid on a sliding scale and should you move to a different company, you should make sure that you are happy to be taxed a certain amount due to your new salary.
Contracts should also stipulate time frames in which you will operate under a probationary period and what requirements you may need to meet to become a permanent employee. You are allowed to ask questions about this topic should it not be stipulated.
Moni adds that a probationary period acts as a fixed-term contract. Therefore, if your contract is terminated during the probationary period, you can approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to get the amount stipulated for the rest of the probationary period.