Retrenchments during the national lockdown: only as a last resort

In these uncertain times during the national lockdown caused by the COVID-19 virus, employers may be struggling to keep their normal operations going. This may lead to employers having to consider the possibility of retrenching certain employees.

However, retrenchments must be considered as a last resort and employers have been urged by Government to make use of the specific measures and benefits put in place to assist employers and employees during the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown. These specific measures and benefits include benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme.

During the national lockdown, section 189 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 will continue to govern the procedures that must be followed for a fair and lawful retrenchment. Retrenchment is a form of dismissal due to no fault of the employee. It is a process whereby the employer reviews its business needs in order to increase profits or limit losses, which leads to reducing its employees. The employer must give fair reasons for making the decision to retrench and follow a fair procedure when making such a decision or the retrenchment may be considered unfair.


CREDIT: Legal Wise