A basic guide to Termination


Our summary of the basic guide to key topics about Termination within the labour legislation according to The South African Department of Labour.

The Department of Labour offers basic guides to key topics within labour legislation. Read on for our summary of Termination.

Certain procedures must be followed when either an employer or worker wishes to terminate employment.

Who does Termination apply to?

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies to all employers and workers, but not:
 - members of the
 - National Defence Force
 - National Intelligence Agency
 - South African Secret Service
 - unpaid volunteers working for charity

The section of the Act that regulate working hours does not apply to:
 - workers in senior management
 - sales staff who travel and regulate their own working hours
 - workers who work less than 24 hours in a month
 - workers who earn more than an amount stated in terms of section 6 (3) of the Act
 - workers engaged in emergency work are excluded from certain provisions

Notice of Termination

Notice must be given in writing, except when it is given by an illiterate worker.

Notice Period

Worker employed for...

Notice Period:
 - 6 months or less
 - 1 week
 - More than 6 months, but less than 1 year
 - 2 weeks
 - 1 year or more
 - 4 weeks *

* A collective agreement may reduce the 4 weeks’ notice period to not less than 2 weeks.

Pay Instead of Notice

Employers may decide to waive the notice period, but the worker must still be paid for the notice period.

Notice and Accommodation

Workers who live on the premises of the employer may stay in the accommodation for 1 month if the employer ends the contract of employment prematurely.

Severance Pay

Retrenched workers (dismissed due to employer’s operational requirements or insolvency) are entitled to 1 week’s pay for every year of service.

Certificate of Service

On termination of employment, workers are entitled to a certificate of service.

Unfair Dismissal

Workers who feel they have been unfairly dismissed should contact the CCMA.

Source: South African Department of Labour