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  • Writer's pictureLouw & Heyl

Not for Profit Organisations and Labour Law

Although Not for Profit Organisations (NPOs) have a particular legal status in this country, they are not absolved from adherence to any of the South African legislation relating to labour law and employment.

Any company, organisation or enterprise that has employees is bound by a number of different pieces of legislation.

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) regulates all employer/employee engagement and defines respective roles and responsibilities in terms of the execution of duties. This Act also speaks to union activity, collective bargaining and dispute resolution processes.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) expands on the LRA and outlines the maximum number of hours employees are permitted to work before it constitutes overtime. The BCEA also speaks to employees’ rights in respect of leave (annual, sick leave, family responsibility etc).

Employers should ensure that all employees sign a contract of employment and this will protect both parties in the event of any disputes. The contract should include all the terms of employment, remuneration, working hours, and leave and can include additional information regarding the scope of work, key performance indicators (KPIs) etc.

The National Minimum Wage Act stipulates that the minimum hourly rate payable to employees is R25.42.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is important for NPOs especially if their employees are working ‘in the field’ off site. NPOs should familiarise themselves with all the different protections they need to provide in terms of the working environment for their employees.

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) provides for compensation in the event of an accident in the workplace or a disease is contracted in the workplace and employers must ensure they have adequate insurance coverage for any eventuality in this regard.

The Employment Equity Act is to protect the status and interests of all employees and stipulates that no employee should be unfairly discriminated against or disadvantaged unfairly in the workplace.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Act requires employers to contribute to the fund against which employees can claim in the event of retrenchment, maternity leave and a number of other circumstances in which they are unable to work.

Louw and Heyl can assist NPOs with the drawing up of employment contracts and can advise regarding labour issues. Taking sound legal advice at the time of establishing the NPO or before engaging an employee prevents costly legal disputes later down the line.

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