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Want to use retrenchment to dismiss a difficult employee? Don't!

by , 18 February 2014
One of the common errors employers make when it comes to dismissal is to use retrenchment to dismiss a difficult employee. Here's why you must never do this.

There are three legal reasons you can use to dismiss an employee. They are:

  1. The conduct of the employee.
  2. The capacity of the employee.
  3. The operational requirements of your business.


Warning!  Your company could be next! Don't make this retrenchment mistake. It could cost you over R1 million in compensation... 
Discover how to avoid making the same horrific mistake Telkom, Sibanye Gold and Amplats made when retrenching their employees. Read here for...


Using retrenchment to dismiss a difficult employee isn't a legal reason to dismiss

That's why the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management warns you not to think retrenchment would be the easy or kinder thing to do because you're afraid of conflict or revenge from aggrieved employees.

Doing this means you could find yourself unable to defend an unfair dismissal case.

The reality is; you're not doing your employee a favour by using retrenchment to get rid of your 'dead wood'. He'd never learn what he had done wrong and would perpetuate the behaviour in his next company.

Rather follow a poor performance process; it's much kinder to tell him what the problem is.

'Don't use the wrong process because you think it'll be easier,' warns the Guide.

Besides avoiding using retrenchment to dismiss a difficult employee, keep in mind that the Labour Relations Act says it's unfair to dismiss a worker for:

  • Participating in a protected strike
  • Compelling the acceptance of a demand
  • Exercising a right conferred by the LRA
  • Participating in proceedings against you (employer)
  • Being pregnant
  • Age (unless normal or agreed retirement age)Unfair discrimination (this means you're not allowed to dismiss your employee on these grounds: Race, gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, marital status or family responsibility)

There you have it. Using retrenchment to dismiss a difficult employee is a big no-no.

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