employment and labour law south africa

We get asked both telephonically and by e-mail a number of questions on Labour Law which come up time and time again and so we thought we would just answer certain of these questions in this short blog so that the answers are there for all to see.

We are often asked the question: What is the difference between Labour Law and Employment Law?

Both Labour and Employment Law look at the legal relationship between employer and employee; and in particular the legislation that governs that relationship.

Also we get the question: Who or what exactly is “an employee?”

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act and The Labour Relations Act define an employee as; “any person who works for another person or for the State and receives remuneration.” As one can see that is a very broad definition. This covers any person who, in any manner assists in carrying out or conducting the business of an employer; excluding an independent contractor; who is considered to be self-employed.

Therefore; if a person works only part time for another person, this does not exclude him/her from being regarded as an employee under the employment legislation.

Another frequently asked question is: “Am I entitled to a written contract or a copy of it at least?’

The answer is: “Yes you are.”

In terms of section 29 of The Basic Conditions of Employment Act, an employer MUST supply an employee with written particulars of employment. This answers a question we are frequently asked. Must an employment contract be in writing? The answer as you can see is yes; it must; but it need not be a long written contract and may be as simple as a letter of appointment or even an e-mail/emails which conform and confirm an appointment as an employee and which amount to “ written particulars of the employee’s employment.”

We hope this helps in your labour law situations.

Please visit our website at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za or send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will revert to you within 48 hours.

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.


Subscribe to our Legal Advice Blog

Follow our weekly Blogs:
To Subscribe to our Legal Advice blog is simple and easy. Just type your email address at the bottom and click GO

News Feed

Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (0) 82 093 2304
Email: info@legaladviceoffice.co.za