In our previous article, we dealt with your payment obligations in a retrenchment process and we looked at part one of the guidelines seen as good practice by the Labour Court in a fair retrenchment process i.e. avoidance and reduction of the effects of retrenchment. This month we look at step 2, the notification procedure.

Good Practice Step 2. Notification Procedure

The requirement in this step is to notify employees (or their union) in writing that management is considering retrenchment allowing them to take part in proper consultations. The notice should give as many details as possible in order to allow employees to make suggestions and representations to management. If there is a “representative” union, they must attend the consultations.

It should include, at the very least:

  • The specific reasons why the retrenchment is being considered, including any pertinent facts and figures and where possible financial and production statistics.
  • Measures already taken by management to avoid or limit the retrenchment.
  • The proposed number of employees who may be affected.
  • The categories of employees who may be affected (foremen, drivers, operators, general workers, anyone over 55, on a final written warning, etc.).
  • The proposed date of the retrenchment.
  • The proposed dates and times when employees will meet to consult with management.
  • The proposed selection criteria e.g. Skill Retention, Apprentice Contracts, LIFO, early / voluntary retirement, temporary workers, employees on short time, etc.

If you do not notify correctly, you risk derailing your entire process.