COVID-19 AND THE WAVE OF RESTRUCTURING AND RETRENCHMENTS
In an earlier post we have touched on the life after lockdown and projected that many employers will reconsider their business structures and might embark on measures to prevent retrenchments such as reductions in salary, contribution holidays and the like.
Reality is however that the second month of lockdown is marked with restructuring and possibilities of retrenchments. MISA is inundated with notices inviting us to consult with employers on behalf of you, our members, who might face retrenchments.
COVID-19 did not change the rules or legislation, it changed our way of thinking and operating. The Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA) remain unchanged, your employer must consult with your union on aspects such as the reason and timing of retrenchments. Another very important aspect that your employer must reach joint consensus on with your union on your behalf is in terms of the selection criteria.
When you are faced with a dismissal as a result of restructuring, the reason is (and must be) your employer’s circumstances and never something you did wrong, it is a no fault dismissal.
A concerning number of employers’ place performance and disciplinary record as a selection criterion. The LRA does not dictate what the criteria should be, but merely stipulate that in terms of section 189(7), that retrenchments must be as per an agreed criteria or in the absence thereof, criteria that is just and fair.
Retrenchment can never be a house cleaning exercise, there is no fair or just principles embodied in retrenching you as a result of your poor performance or the written or final written warning you have received.
The last in first out principle should, in fairness, be a priority when considering who may be retrenched when a number of positions become redundant and are possibly affecting many employees.
Speak to us
When faced with retrenchment, please do not despair and accept without being creative and taking initiative by changing your way of thinking. There are a number of things that can be considered as an alternative to retrenchments. MISA will assist and negotiate on your behalf, aspects such as a reduced salary and shorter hours for a specified period or the possibility of a contribution holiday on your provident fund.
Help us to assist you by contacting MISA, you may send a sms, WhatsApp or e-mail as per the contact details below. You do not have to face this alone!
How to contact MISA during the lockdown?
UIF/TERS Support UIFClaim@ms.org.za
Legal/Labour-related enquiries Legal@ms.org.za
*WhatsApp or sms only (No calls) 0718809682
MISA Benefit claim-related enquiries Claims@misa.org.za
Any other enquiries Info@ms.org.za
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