Employment can be described as a treaty between two parties or people, one being the employer and the other the employee. An employee can be defined as a person working, either part-time or full-time, under an agreement of employment, either oral or written and has acknowledged rights and responsibilities vested in him or her.
A contract is an agreement between the two parties. It plays a significant role and is of very high importance for employee/employer relationship. It contains a set of promises for the breach of which the law provides a solution.
For a legally enforceable agreement there must be 3 things:
- An offer.
- An acceptance.
- Consideration to support its formation.
Family and Medical Act Leave
This act caters for the employee’s period of unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks in a year, in case of birth, adoption or serious sickness of a child or severe illness of a parent or spouse with a return to the same job as before.
Civil Rights Act – Discrimination
The Act states that the employee should be respected regardless of their skin color, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc. This act gave women an essential legal tool against sexual harassment in their line of work.
This Act also prevents employers from discharging, refusal to hire or discriminate against any person with respect to his/her contract because of age if he or she is under 40 years.
Occupational Health and Safety Act.
This act ensures that every employee works under safe and healthy working conditions. To enforce this act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act sets standards to ensure the safety of employees and conducts regular inspection of workplaces to make sure they meet the standards set.
A break is also of great importance at a place of work. A fair employer should ensure that his or her employees have a meal break of say between 30 minutes to 1 hour and occasional rest pauses in between the working hours.
It would be unlawful and unfair for employers to reprieve employees of work breaks especially in workplaces where employees spend most of the time on their feet.
With regard to uniforms, an employer who requires the employees to wear it should; supply it, launder it and maintain it at the employer’s expense. An adequate allowance should be provided to cater for the uniforms’ laundering and maintenance should the employer want the employees to be responsible for their uniforms.