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Basic Guide to Termination (Farm Workers)

by Zopedol — last modified 2014-04-01 15:52
Certain procedures must be followed when either an employer or worker wishes to terminate employment.


Sectoral Determination 13: Farm Worker Sector applies to all workers on a farm including -
  • domestic workers, and
  • security guards.
The sectoral determination does not apply to workers covered by -
  • another sectoral determination; or
  • a bargaining council agreement.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies in respect of any matter not covered by this sectoral determination.


Notice of Termination

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

Notice Period

Worker employed for…

Notice Period

6 months or less

1 week

More than 6 months

4 weeks

An employer and worker may agree to a longer notice period.

Notice of termination may not be given during any period of leave entitled to a worker, except sick leave.

Pay Instead of Notice

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

Accommodation, Livestock, and Crops on Termination

If an employer terminates the contract of employment before the notice periods given the worker is entitled to -
  • 1 month accommodation (if the worker resides on the farm); or
  • until the contract is lawfully terminated
  • keep livestock on the land for 1 month or for the period given in the contract of employment
  • tend to crops, harvest and remove them within a reasonable time, unless the employer’s pays an amount agreed to by the worker.

Payments on Termination

On termination of employment the employer must pay a worker all monies due to the worker such as -
  • wages
  • allowances or other payments
  • paid time off (which has not been taken)
  • incomplete annual leave.

Severance Pay

Retrenched workers (dismissed due to employer’s operational requirements or insolvency) are entitled to 1 week’s severance pay for every year of service.
Workers who unreasonably refuse to accept an employer’s offer of alternative employment with that employer or any other employer is not entitled to severance pay.

Certificate of Service

On termination of employment, workers are entitled to a certificate of service
The certificate if service must state-
  • farm worker’s full name
  • name and address of the employer
  • date of commencement and termination of employment
  • title of job and brief description of work
  • any relevant training received
  • pay received at termination
  • reason for termination (if requested by the worker)

Unfair Dismissal

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

Based on Legislation in Section 37, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

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