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Consider these retrenchment alternatives to avoid an 'Amplats-style' media furore

by , 30 January 2013
Companies usually end up with egg on their face when they implement retrenchment plans. And that's exactly what's happening in the mining sector. The Anglo American Platinumretrenchment decision has sparked outrage for being too hasty, not inclusive and very last minute. Now, Amplats is backpedalling, having agreed to postpone its retrenchmentplans by 60 days to allow for detailed consultation. You don't have to go this route. Here are three retrenchment alternatives that will minimise this stress.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has agreed to postpone its retrenchment plans for up to 14000 employees by 60 days to allow for 'detailed consultation', writes Bloomberg.
"We feel the whole issue of retrenchments should have been cancelled altogether, but we will participate in the consultations," said The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union spokesperson Jimmy Gama in a report on the BusinessDay's BDLive website.
The union claims to represent 26000 workers at Amplats.
Whether your company has a workforce big enough for such large-scale retrenchment plans or you're only planning on retrenching one person, the results are always drawn out and upsetting to everyone involved.
If your company's going through a rough patch and can't afford to keep your employees on board, consider these three retrenchment alternativesinstead. Using them will help you retain skills, experience and customer connections within your business, reports the Labour Bulletin.
Three retrenchment alternatives that'll keep everyone happy
1. Reduce working hours.
2. Place employees on enforced leave.
3. Place staff on short-or part-time working hours.
By offering your employees flexible working options, you'll help yourself through tough times and your employees may even see these alternatives as beneficial, if they've campaigned for such flexibility in the past.
But remember you can't impose these changes unilaterally – you have to get your employees to agree to them first.
And if you have no other option but to go ahead with your retrenchment plans, learn from Anglo American Platinum's example and involve employees and unions in consultation first!

You want to reduce costs... So you decide to retrench, make sure you do it right by using the Labour Law for Managers handbook!

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