There is a level of importance to knowing the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, or in short, the BCEA. Regardless of having an employment contract at your place of business it is important to at least know the basics of the BCEA to establish whether your employment standards are fair and law abiding. This is important because not all employment contracts cover everything that is set out in the BCEA, for that reason anything else is covered by the law of the BCEA.

In the spirit of educating our own we thought it good to lay out a very short basic summary.

The essential elements of the employment contract;
• A voluntary agreement
• Between two parties (employee & employer)
• in terms of which the employee places labour potential at the disposal and under the control of the employer
• in exchange for some form of remuneration by the employer

Employees have the following rights according to the BCEA;
• not to be unfairly dismissed or discriminated against
• to be provided with appropriate resources and equipment
• to have safe working conditions
• to receive the agreed remuneration on the agreed date and time
• to receive fair labour practices
• to be treated with dignity and respect
• to non-victimisation in claiming rights and using procedures
• to leave benefits and other basic conditions of employment as stipulated in the BCEA

It is important to keep in mind that there is a relationship between employee and employer. If the relationship between the employee and employer is broken down they are unable to work as efficiently and effectively as they should. This relationship is also not just between you and management, but between you and your fellow colleagues, because in truth they are the people with whom you work with more closely.

The goal in the workplace will always be for everyone to be happy, and this is only achieved when all relationships are kept strong. However, there are remedies at everyone’s disposal should a relationship breakdown occur;

• A council, if the parties to the dispute falls within the registered scope of that council
• The CCMA, if no council has jurisdiction
• The party who refers a dispute must satisfy the council or the CCMA that a copy of the referral has been served on all the other parties to the dispute and done so in writing

Here at CPI we hope to ensure that all parties involved know the minimum of what is expected from them and what they can expect in return from us. Therefore, it helps a great deal when everyone knows the Basic Conditions expected for both employee and employer.

Lastly, according to law, there should be a copy of the BCEA up at any place of business.

Should you as an employee feel unsure about anything regarding the BCEA, you should consult your direct manager or supervisor.

If as an employer you are unsure whether you are abiding by the BCEA, please contact us for a consultation.

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