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Employment contracts
in South Africa.

SALARY PAYMENT IN South African Rand (ZAR, R)




TIME TO HIRE 12 hours

Standard employment contract in South Africa: Open-ended contract

The standard employment contract in South Africa is an unlimited employment contract. This is a contract of indefinite duration with no fixed end date. The employee can work for the employer for as long as they wish and there must be a just reason for termination.


As with all employment contracts, the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, provide the legal framework for open-ended contracts in South Africa.

Alternative employment contract in South Africa: Fixed-term contract

he alternative employment contract in South Africa is a fixed-term contract. These contracts will end on a specific date or when a specific task has been completed. In South Africa, for fixed-term contracts the employer must show that the nature of the work is of limited duration. Otherwise the contract should be converted into an open ended.

Are there other types of employment contracts in South Africa?

South Africa also allows probationary contracts (contracts with a set probation period where it is easier to dismiss workers). 

Another common type of contract is a ‘casual employment contract’. These contracts, also known as ‘zero-hours’ contracts are used to hire employees typically hired to perform work on an ad hoc basis or for a short period. This could be to cover a busy period, to fill in for another employee, or to complete a specific task or project.

Note, legal protections apply to ensure that employers are not using casual contracts where other forms of contract would be preferable. 

Hiring in South Africa, Made Easy

Your business can easily hire employees in South Africa without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.


The main difference is the standard contract is for an unlimited amount of time, whereas the alternative contract (a fixed-term contract) has an end date or finishes once the project is finished.

The best employment contract that is right for you depends on the nature of your business. Factors like the needs of your business and the job you are hiring for will effect which employment contract is right for you in South Africa.

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