Unsigned Employment Agreement

Those who work in the HR profession will tell you that it is not uncommon to be approached by an employee who has already started working with the company, who “desperately” needs an employment contract that is developed (!). The New Zealand`s Advice Bureau adds additional weight to this statistic and notes in a 2017 report that “customer requests over a six-month period, from December 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017, revealed 473 cases of workers employed without a written labour agreement.” In addition to the fact that it is illegal to employ workers without a written agreement on work, employers should be aware that this practice can cause them serious problems by excluding them from the risk of personal complaints (GGs) and the possibility of large fines. At Mahlangu vs. Footballers For Life (Pty) Ltd [2012] 1 BALR 46 (CCMA), the employee was dismissed for submission. Mahlangu had several opportunities to sign his employment contract or give reasons why he would not sign the contract, but did not meet several reasonable deadlines. The employer considered it to be submitted and dismissed him after he was convicted in absentia. Mr. Mahlangu characterized his dismissal as unfair dismissal to the CCMA, where the Commissioner had to say the following; For some strange reason, workers will almost always refuse to sign an employment contract after taking a job. The reason might be that the worker thinks that the employer is trying to exploit it by inserting something into the contract to which they have not consented, or simply because he thinks (stupidly) that he will be untouchable and not bound by the rules of the company if such an agreement is not available.

This last point is certainly not true and these employees will quickly know that the company`s rules and guidelines are not conditions of employment and that if they were aware of such rules or could reasonably be expected to be aware of them, they can expect disciplinary action. If an employment contract is not signed, there may be uncertainty as to what was agreed, especially when the contract was particularly complicated. Although the contract was not signed, Rowe ran the school from November 7, 2016 to April 3, 2017. She received payments sporadically, including cash, for her work, but was not compensated in February or March. That`s when she filed a letter at the school saying she owed more than $26,000 in unpaid wages and phone calls/car. The High Court dismissed the appeal on numerous grounds, but emphasized that (i) the former employer was unable to justify the acceptance of the agreements by a signed contract; and (ii) there was no identifiable and appropriate consideration for entry into the heavier restrictions. The Court also denounced the disproportionate costs of the provisional judgment and the unfair and aggressive manner in which it was prosecuted; including insisting on unreasonable (12-hour) and arbitrary delays in responding to letters prior to action. They stated that it was not able to “poach” customers, businesses or employees for at least 12 months after the end of their employment with Tenon FM. Business leaders and managers may not be aware that the admission of a worker without including a signed employment contract prevents the employer from later executing the clauses contained in the agreement for a probationary period. In a New Zealand example, when Billy the sheep herd started working at your farm Monday and its Tuesday now and you are in the process of handing him a written employment contract, you no longer have the option to take steps to cancel Billy with shortened notice if you have to.