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Amplats calling in the CCMA to facilitate retrenchments consultation highlights how to prepare for retrenchments

by , 21 January 2013
The word 'CCMA' often conjures up sleepless nights and results in endless hours preparing your case... only to find you still haven't prepared thoroughly enough. Anglo American Platinum mines (Amplats) has just asked the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to facilitate discussions between itself and the respective unions around possible retrenchments. The CCMA offers tips on how you can better prepare if your company's planning retrenchments soon!

Amplats' request for CCMA assistance is in line with provision 189A of the Labour Relations Act.
CCMA director Nerine Kahn says, 'In anticipation of the consultation process between the parties, which is to start on Friday, 18 January 2013, we are putting together a high-level team, including experts in a range of fields, to ensure we maximise our experience in similar situations on the Platinum Belt.'
Here's how the CCMA's consultations will benefit the Amplats employees facing retrenchment
'These processes are complex and impact directly on workers' lives, as well as on the future profitability of their employer. We intend to do whatever necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties.'
The CCMA says if your company is contemplating retrenchments, Section 189A of the Labour Relations Act needs you to give employees notice and to consult with them on a range of issues.
You'll need to give your employees ample warning and reasons if you're planning retrenchment!
These include the reasons for the proposed retrenchment, measures to avoid retrenchments, possible alternatives to retrenchment, the timing of the dismissals, the method of selecting employees for retrenchment, severance pay and measures to mitigate the harsh effects of retrenchments.
The employer may request CCMA facilitation in terms of section 189A when it issues notice to employees that it's contemplating retrenchments and would like to begin consultations.
If the employer does not request CCMA facilitation, the trade union or worker representatives may request a facilitator within 15 days of receiving the notice of possible retrenchments. Alternatively, the parties may agree to ask for a facilitator at any stage during the consultation process.
The CCMA said it was important for employers, trade unions and workers to familiarise themselves with the requirements for procedural and substantive fairness associated with large-scale retrenchments and to keep an open mind on the various ways in which retrenchments can be avoided or minimise the impact thereof.
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