Thursday, 29 November 2018

Job Contracts: What you need to know I

                                                Job Contracts: What you need to know

According to Vermeulen Attorneys the primary employment related issue that they are most often approached with by employees is that of fixed terms contracts.  Attorney, Chante Mouton says that employees often don’t read or understand the terms of their employment contracts before accepting resulting in them wanting to lay a grievance against an employer.
An employment contract should be read in its entirety before being accepted. It is important to understand who is considered an employee and what the difference is between a permanent, fixed term and independent contractor.
Section 83A of the BCEA says that a person who works for or renders a service to another person, is presumed, until the contrary is proven to be an employee regardless of the form of contract if the following factors exists. The person’s hours and manner of work are subject to the control and direction of another, works on average of at least 40 hours per month over the last three months, is economically dependent on the person and is provided with the tools of trade or work equipment by that person or organisation.
A permanent contract is an indefinite contract where an employee is taken on by a company until the employee no longer wishes to work there or the contract ends in a termination of some sort. This type of employee is entitled to all forms of benefits provided by the specific organisation for which he works.
A fixed term contract runs from an agreed start date and ends on a specified date or on the completion of a specific project ending the employment relationship, the duration of which should be agreed upon in advance. Fixed term employees are entitled to the same rights and benefits as those of permanent employees depending on the time frame of the contract length. This form of contract is legal provided that it is used for the intended purpose of fulfilling a short term assignment.
The Labour relations Act states that if an employee is compensated below the legal threshold of R205 433.30 per annum a fixed term contract is limited to a period of 3 months and may only be extended if there are justifiable reasons for doing so. These may include but not limited to, the employee is replacing a permanent employee who is temporarily absent, is completing a specific project for a determined period, is a seasonal worker or is a student obtaining vocational training. It is also provided that should the contractor be employed for longer than 3 months without justifiable reason, this employee would be deemed to be permanent and would be entitled to all the rights and benefits of a permanent employee. However, it must be noted that other factors do apply.
An independent contractor on the other hand is not an employment contract at all but a contract of work. A true independent contractor would be a person who is registered as a provisional tax payer, will work his own hours and runs his own business. This type of contractor is free to carry out work for more than one employer simultaneously and is not entitled to any additional benefits as provided to permanent employees. The contractor issues an invoice, which is not subject to statutory deductions of PAYE and UIF, to the company.
When presented with an employment offer it is essential to read the contract. You should understand and be clear on the terms offered before accepting. Consult a professional or discuss with your prospective employer immediately to avoid unnecessary future disappointments.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

What to consider when job hunting

What to consider when job hunting

With the unemployment rate at 27.5% in South Africa according to a Stats SA announcement on the 30th October 2018 which is an increase from the 27.2% rate announced at the end of the second quarter of 2018, the importance of a well-structured and accurate CV must not be underestimated. Your CV is a marketing document and presentation is key.

Your CV is your first and most important step towards your sought after position. The job market will judge you by your CV. Your CV needs to be relevant, professional and properly highlight your strengths, experience and qualifications. Use of a professional template is essential entering only accurate information.

When constructing your CV, it is critical to keep in mind not to falsify information. Human resources and recruiters will perform background screening checks on prospects some of which are criminal, credit and qualification checks. Falsifying information on your CV constitutes gross dishonesty which warrants dismissal. According to IFacts background screening company, job seekers planning or who have lied about qualifications are committing a serious act of fraud which could lead to possible jail time should employers choose to prosecute.

When it comes to references, be sure to give contact details of persons who you reported to. A colleague, friend or family member’s details are not advisable, the referee needs to be a person who was in a more senior position than yourself and who you directly reported to. The position and contact details of the referees are often checked by human resources or recruiters by contacting the human resource department of that company in question to ascertain that the referee was in fact in the particular position as disclosed and is or was an employee of that organisation.

When a position becomes available with a fairly common skill set, several hundred applications are received. It is therefore vital that your CV is standing out from the crowd. Recruiters sift through hundreds of applications often rejecting poorly structured CV’s moving onto job seekers who have placed a considerable amount of effort into creating a professional and presentable CV.

When applying for a post ensure that your CV is legible and well laid out. Follow basic instruction with the job advert as to how to apply, thus showing that you are able to follow instructions. Ensure that you have read the job specification and that you fulfil at least 80% of the requirements. Keep in mind that although you may fit the profile of the job specification 100%, companies sometimes have other criteria that they need to consider such as employment equity requirement quotas that need to be reached as prescribed to them.

Be aware of scamsters in the job market posing as recruiters charging job seekers for finding employment or registration fees. The labour department set out the following regulations as passed under the Skills Development Act (1998) that an employment service shall not charge fees to work seekers exceeding a registration fee of R1. Job seekers are advised to remain vigilant at all times and to report any suspicions of irregularities to the nearest department of labour offices.

To determine if a job advertisement is legitimate it is advisable to do some research. Ensure that no fee is charged. Check email addresses, most recruiters will use traceable corporate email addresses. Research the company advertising the post, do they have a legitimate website, do they have contact numbers. Who answers when you call and what do they say. Check the source and ensure that company is legally registered.

Last don’t take rejection personally, maintain a positive job search attitude. Stay motivated and focused and persevere.