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Labour Court applies stricter tests for retrenchment fairness

In the past, the Labour Court has been fairly flexible in assessing if the reasons for a retrenchment are fair or not. Traditionally, where the employer could show a genuine operational requirement, the court was reluctant to second guess the employer's reason for retrenchment. However, it appears that the Labour Court is fast moving towards a position where it's prepared to look much deeper into the circumstances of each retrenchment case.

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Can fixed-term employees be retrenched?

Most employment agreements are permanent, terminating only when an employee is dismissed, resigns, retires or dies. An alternative to this is a fixed-term contract where the relationship lasts for a predetermined period of time and will only terminate at a specific event or date. Pre-empting this natural termination can be problematic, especially when retrenchment is the envisioned mode of termination. In today's uncertain economy, many employers are forced to embark on this unfortunate route, retrenching their employees on grounds of operational requirements as per section 189 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA). However, when it comes to fixed-term employees, the road becomes treacherous...

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Can you force employees to apply for their own jobs or …

... Face retrenchment?

If you ever land up at the CCMA, you'll see retrenchment laws well summarised on their wall notices. Unfortunately, employers only get to see these summaries when it's too late, they've possibly unfairly dismissed an employee and the legal process has begun. In this article, find out what's the truth when it comes to retrenchment laws.

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Have an employment practices liability policy considering dismissal…

Angry employee

... Otherwise you could pay through your nose at the CCMA

In South Africa, there is an average of 800 employee versus employer cases a day at the CCMA. Of these, at least half are won by the aggrieved employee. The CCMA can award up to 12 months of an employees' salary if you're on the wrong side of, for example, an unfair dismissal case. It's clear that if you don't have insurance cover for your business – such as an employment practices liability policy – you're leaving yourself at risk.

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Put together a well-formulated grievance procedure…

Grievance procedure

... And minimise dismissal in your company

Dissatisfaction among employees is a sad but unavoidable fact of business. It's in your interest to resolve grievances in-house before these become out of hand, expensive and possibly lead to dismissal. A well-crafted and implemented grievance procedure is the best way you can do this. Read on to find out how to manage your grievance procedure properly.

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