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> GOVERNANCE - home > Employment protection legislation database - EPLex > South Africa

South Africa - Procedural requirements for individual dismissals

Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - South Africa - 2019    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

  • See sec. 37(4) BCEA: Notice of termination must be given in writing and explained orally to an employee who is not able to understand it.

Notice period:
  • Sec. 37(1) BCEA establishes minimum notice periods to be observed by the employer when he or she intends to dismiss an employee, as follows:
    - 1 week's notice if the employee has been employed for 6 months or less,
    - 2 week's notice if the employee has been employed for more than 6 months but not more than 1 year;
    - 4 weeks if the employee has been employed for one year or more (or is a farm or domestic workers employed for more than 6 months)
    Collective agreements only provide shorter notice periods than those stipulated by the BCEA for workers with more than 1 year of service. In such cases, the notice period can be reduced to 2 weeks (sec. 37(2) BCEA).
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 2 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 2 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 4 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 4 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 4 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 4 week(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 4 week(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    • Sec. 38 BCEA.

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    • Except for individual dismissals based on operational requirements (see sec. 189 LRA).
      See also sec. 4(2) of the Code of Good Practice on Dismissal - schedule 8 of the LRA: Disciplinary proceedings against a trade union representative should not be instituted without first informing and consulting the union.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No