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Fixed Term Contract Employment Examined in Masters Study

April 19, 2017

Mr Greg Botha.

The practice of employers offering job seekers fixed term contract employment was investigated by Master of Laws graduate Mr Greg Botha, an attorney with Pitcher & Fismer Attorneys in Pietermaritzburg.

“Protecting Fixed Term Contract Employees in South Africa: The Past and the Present”, was the title of the study by Botha who was supervised by UKZN’s Labour Law expert, Ms Nicci Whitear-Nel.

The work considered disadvantages fixed-term contract employees faced in the past and identified how the Labour Relations Amendment Act 6 of 2014 was created to rectify deficiencies in the legislation which enabled the practice.

Certain deficiencies which still appear to exist in the legislation are identified in the study, however, Botha says it is still not clear how serious they are and whether they should be cause for concern.

Part of the study also considered how the legal protection provided for fixed-term contract employees in South Africa compares with similar legislation in both Germany and neighbouring Mozambique.

Botha’s study will be beneficial not only to employers, but also to fixed term contract employees, in understanding what can and can’t be done and exactly what the rights of the employees are.

Botha manages the litigation department at his firm where he is in the process of growing the commercial and labour law departments to increase services to clients.

He believes his newly-acquired qualification will give him a competitive edge and plans to share his study findings. ‘I would like to share the knowledge I have gained through my study with colleagues and the public and will look at offering seminars on the topic on a pro bono basis through channels such as

‘Studying part-time takes a lot of your personal time away but I have learned a huge amount and feel a sense of achievement now that it is all over. It has been well worth the effort!’

Hazel Langa

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