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AngloGold Ashanti and NUM to hold retrenchment talks. Here's what they must consult about

by , 13 November 2014
AngloGold Ashanti is feeling the effects of a tough economy.

The gold miner has announced that it plans to cut jobs.

According to a City Press report, a union source close to negotiations with the company said 1, 200 positions were affected in South Africa.

What's positive is AngloGold is going about the process the right way. It will hold retrenchment talks with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the coming days.

Keep reading to discover what (in terms of the law) they must consult about so you'll know exactly what to do should your company find itself in a similar situation.

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Here's what you must consult about when retrenching

Consultation is the discussion you hold with potential retrenches (employees that you'll be retrenching) or with their representatives on the proposed retrenchments.
The Labour Relations Act (LRA) says consultation must be meaningful.
You must work together to attempt to reach consensus – sham consultations aren't good enough, you can't simply go through the motions.
For consultation to be meaningful, you must consult about the following issues:
  • Ways to avoid retrenching;
  • How to keep the number of retrenchments as low as possible;
  • Changes to the timing of retrenchments;
  • Ways to mitigate the hardships caused to employees who are retrenched;
  • How you're going to select employees to be retrenched; and

So how do you initiate consultation?

To start consulting, the LRA says that you must:
  • Issue a written notice inviting the other party to consult; and
  • Disclose relevant information that will help the other consulting party to engage with you in the consultation process.
There you have it: If your company finds itself in AngloGold Ashanti's shoes, consult properly now that you have the know-how.
PS: Since there's so much more you need to know about consultation and retrenchment, we recommend you check out Retrenchments: How to make sure your retrenchment process is 100% correct so you'll never go wrong.

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