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A certificate of service is commonly used in the South African workplace, but you may not know exactly what it’s used for, why you need to get it (or if you even do need to get it) and how to get one. Scorpion explains.
A certificate of service is an official document from your employer that is issued to you when you stop working for them. It serves as proof of employment, and according to Section 42 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), all employees must get one. It does not matter whether you resigned, were fired or retrenched.
A certificate of service should detail the basic terms and conditions of your employment, such as:
Proof of employment is required in many situations, for example:
Your employer must provide this document to you when you terminate your employment with them. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if possible and ask your employer for this document at least one month before you leave the job. The employer will fill in Form BCEA5 and provide it to you when you leave with immediate effect, or within 14 days of your resignation. It’s important to note that the form needs to be signed by both parties – you and the employer. If your employer refuses to provide you with this certificate or you are unable to locate the employer to request it yourself, you can contact the CCMA for help or hire a lawyer to help you sort things out.
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* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 21 April 2023
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