OHS Act appointment letters – Definitely worth the paper it is written on!
As it is the human nature to focus on getting things done, rather than on securing one's back, the issuing of an appointment letter for an employee is very often overlooked or forgotten. But without an appointment letter, the job is non-compliant according to the OHS Act, which is something that leaves the employer at risk of sanctions when inspectors of the Department of Labour get wind of non-compliance. As I mentioned in my previous blogs, inspectors have the power to shut down a job or site until a company becomes compliant. They can also issue a fine of up to R 50 000.
An appointment letter is a vital part of health and safety on-site. It is proof that a company has appointed qualified and experience staff, and it describes the (section of) law employees are expected to adhere to.
It is important to describe exactly what it is that the employee is expected to do, while it must also be ensured that the employee is qualified and ready to take on a job. It is, furthermore, of utmost importance that reference is made to only the relevant and most recent legislation. Failure to do so will render an appointment letter void. Like failure to issue an appointment letter in the first place, issuing a letter that is out of date can lead to a fine of up to R50 000.
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