The signing of an offer of employment generally signifies the beginning of a contractual relationship between an employer and employee in labour law. Legislation that stipulates the rights of both the employer and employee after the signing of the offer of acceptance or the commencement of work in a new position, has become murky for both parties as new labour trends emerge in the job market.
The entry of more young professionals and recently qualified graduates into the job market brings to the fore the issue of the legislative rights of both the employer and “prospective” employee after the signing of an offer of acceptance or signing of the employment contract prior to assuming duties in a new company. Against the backdrop of current challenging economic conditions in the country, young professionals and recently qualified graduates are entering the job market with slightly elevated expectations of job benefits. The question one needs to ask is whether these elevated expectations could be influencing their decisions to terminate the offer of acceptance even before assuming new employment, or terminate an employment contract that they have already signed but not yet having assumed duties in a new company? How do these unexpected developments impact on the legislative rights of both the employer and employee?