The use of technology in our daily lives has been growing rapidly. Electronic contracts initially caused a great legal uncertainty as to how and whether electronic contracts could be recognised as valid and enforceable agreements. The passing of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECT Act) in 2002 initiated the basic premise that digital communications are no less valid than paper based communications.
One of the most important changes to the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA), which came into effect on 1 January 2015, is the added protection it affords employees who are employed on fixed term contracts. A fixed term contract means a contract of employment that terminates on the occurrence of a specific event, the completion of a specified task or project, or a fixed date other than an employee’s normal or agreed retirement age.
A well negotiated contract is the way to secure a mutually beneficial outcome and avoid dispute with minimal trade-off.
Negotiating the best deal means more than just securing the best price. The terms agreed with your supplier should maximise your commercial and legal position. By this we mean, terms that permit stronger cash flow (such as timing on cash out-flow to creditors that matches cash in-flow from debtors) and remedies during dispute (such penalties or indemnities).
The Consumers’ Right to Disclosure and Information is covered by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). It deals with rights such as the right to information in plain and understandable language. Documents should be written in a straight-forward manner so that the desired intention is understood by the reader without much effort. This means use of complex sentences filled with unnecessary words and phrases should be avoided.
A written contract is the best way to protect a business relationship. It outlines the terms of the agreement in plain black and white so that there’s no confusion and no misunderstandings. A well-prepared contract can do a lot more than this. So why do we insist on engaging in business on less than a promise and a handshake?
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