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South Africa: Termination of employment

Original and updating author: Helen Wilsenach, Bowman Gilfillan

Consultant editor: Mairéad Edwards, Tabacks

Summary

  • Employment law does not recognise the concept of the termination of an employee's employment "without cause" or "at will", and the employer is always required to act fairly in both substantive and procedural terms when terminating a contract. (See General)
  • Except for in the limited circumstances justifying summary dismissal, employers are required to give employees notice of termination of their contract. (See Notice periods)
  • As a general rule, termination without notice - that is, summary dismissal - is permissible only if the employee is in material breach of the employment contract. (See Summary dismissal)
  • The "Code of good practice: dismissal" contains guidance on fair dismissal procedures for misconduct. (See Dismissal on grounds of misconduct)
  • The "Code of good practice: dismissal" contains guidance on fair dismissal procedures for poor work performance. (See Dismissal on grounds of poor work performance)
  • The "Code of good practice: dismissal" contains guidance on fair dismissal procedures for incapacity arising from ill health or injury. (See Dismissal on grounds of incapacity arising from ill health or injury)
  • The "Code of good practice on dismissal based on operational requirements" provides guidance in relation to redundancies. (See Dismissal on the grounds of the employer's operational requirements)
  • In most cases of termination of contract, employees have no statutory entitlement to a severance payment from the employer. (See Severance payments)
  • There is no general or normal retirement age applicable to all employees. (See Retirement age and dismissal)
  • Legislation provides that all employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed, and specifies what constitutes an unfair dismissal. (See Unfair dismissal)