Can Your Learnership Contract Be Terminated?

Submitted by Suzaan Beneke on Fri, 12/18/2020 - 08:06

Just like with any other job, you will be given a legally binding contract of employment to sign when you start your learnership at a company.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way we imagined it would and the best option for everyone involved would be to terminate the contract.

As outlined in the Department of Labour’s Sectoral Determination 5: Learnerships, this must be done for the right reasons, which is what we’ll be looking at in this article.

Before we get into that though, let’s look at the rights of everyone involved during the learnership period – this includes the learner, the employer, and the training provider.

As the learner in this scenario, you have the right to:

  • Be adequately educated and trained in your field of interest
  • Access the resources you’ll need to receive this training
  • Have your performance assessed during the contract period and be able to access the results.
  • Raise grievances related to any shortcomings in training you may have by getting in touch with the relevant SETA.

Similarly, the employer and training provider has the right to require you, as the learner, to perform the duties outlined in the agreement while also following the business’s rules and regulations during the contract period.

The registered training provider will have the right to access the learner’s books and other learning material, as well as enter the workplace if needed.

This contract outlines two things: the goals of the learnership i.e. what the applicant is meant to achieve during their employment and what the responsibilities and rights are of all those involved.

Terminating the agreement

Now let’s look at some of the reasons why a SETA may terminate a learnership agreement.

  • The learnership period has come to an end.
  • Both parties (the employer and learner) have agreed in writing to end the learnership;
  • There has been a reported case of misconduct on the learner’s part; or
  • The learner has been found to be incapable of performing the required duties

According to the Expanded Public Works Programme, the contract can also be terminated if:

  • the learner fails to attend their theoretical training for two consecutive training days without applying for sick leave,
  • the learner fails any of the tests during their in-classroom training,
  • the learner abandons their designated role; or
  • the learner becomes physically or mentally ill and incapable of completing the learnership period.

Upon termination of employment, the employer must pay the learner for a paid time off that they are entitled to but has not taken during their time at the company.

While there are some acceptable reasons to end the learnership i.e. the contract ends or the learner becomes unable to perform their duties etc., it’s a good idea to do your best to finish the training and complete the course to earn your certificate of service and ultimately your formal NQF qualification at the end of your studies to land your dream job.

Need help? Find out how you can make the most of your learnership