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Retrenching? Use these three tips to deal with confidential and sensitive information

by , 26 August 2014
One of the requirements you must stick to when retrenching is to consult with your employees or their representatives.

For consultation to be meaningful, you must provide the people you're consulting with sufficient information.

When it comes to this process, most employers worry about confidential and sensitive information getting out in the open.

Luckily, there's a way around this.

Use these three tips to deal with confidential and sensitive information when retrenching.


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Three tips to help you deal with confidential and sensitive information when retrenching


Tip #1: You're not obliged to disclose:

  • Privileged information, for example, advice given to you by your attorney in relation to the retrenchment process.
  • Private and personal information about your employee unless that employee consents to disclose the information (for example, details of the salary packages of individual members of the management team).
 

Tip #2: Ask your employee or their union to sign a confidentiality agreement before you release the information to them.

Tip # 3: Allow the union to send a small team of specified representatives to inspect information at your premises rather than supplying them with copies of the documents containing the information. Also make it clear that they can't take any documents with them, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

Keep this in mind when it comes to retrenchments and the disclosure of information

 
The disclosure of information often results in disputes. If your employees or their representatives are unhappy with the information you're giving them, they can refer the matter to the CCMA. And this can delay the whole retrenchment process.

Our advice is to reach an acceptable agreement and structure it in a way that'll help protect confidential information.

There you have it: Use the tips above to deal with confidential and sensitive information during retrenchments.



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