I need guidance on how to draw contracts for my staff

Friday March 6 2020

 

By Caroline Mboijana

I am a manager of a supermarket that has three branches around town. I would like to give my 80 staff contracts but I am not sure how to go about it. For instance should I backdate contracts for those who are already working or should we use the current date? Are there possible legal issues that can arise from backdating to when they started work?
Catherine

Dear Catherine
It is good the company wants to do the right thing in terms of contracting and formalising the employer-employee relationship. The law allows you to have casual employees on your books for a period of six months.
If you have retained and have continued to pay them after the six-month period, regardless of whether they have a contract it is implied they are staff since you have not stopped them working nor have you stopped paying them. In doing what is right, my advice is your new contracts should recognise the employee’s contribution to the success of the business. It should also point out the probation period has been waivered.

Finally, the contract should be dated the date of issue and should cover the period from the first day on the seven month of employment to the respective end date as agreed by management.
Of course, recognising the start date as the first day of month seven comes with risks that you will need to manage. Your staff will very likely raise the issue of their NSSF contribution, specifically they will demand for the employer 10 per cent contribution.

This will automatically trigger an assessment from NSSF and by consequence raise a flag with URA.
While this is daunting I suggest, prior to issuing your contracts, you proactively contact URA and NSSF, explain the rational and spirit of wanting to do the right thing and negotiate a payment plan for the outstanding dues.

Caroline Mboijana
Managing Director
The Leadership Team (U)
cmboijana@gmail.com

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