The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says that 7% of all disputes referred to the CCMA come about because of unfair labour practice disputes.
One way to ensure you don't become just another statistic is by understanding the link between retrenchments and reemployment.
Retrenched employees can claim reemployment under these circumstances:
Let's say Mr H retrenches a number of employees because business isn't doing well.
He then decides to include an agreement that says should any vacancies arise in the future; his previously retrenched employees will be given preference to apply for those jobs.
This means Mr H has to stick to this agreement. He can't turn around and not give preference if any such vacancies become available.
If he goes against the agreement, the CCMA WILL see it as unfair labour practice.
The important point here is that retrenched employees can only claim reemployment only if you have a clause in the agreement that says something like 'you will be invited to apply for positions that you're suited to occupy in terms of your qualifications and experience, and for which you're able to perform the inherent requirements of the job'.
Important tip: Make sure you add this into your agreement when it comes to reemploying retrenched employees
The Loose Leaf Service says usually there's a time period attached to these types of agreements, such as six months, during which you're required to go back to the retrenched employees– thereafter this obligation falls away.
Your employees will have to prove that the terms of the agreement exist and they'll have to prove they still qualify for employment.
The only way you'll avoid re-employing the employees concerned is if the vacancy that's now available is for a completely different position to the one the retrenched employee previously held, or if they don't have the required skills for the job that's now available.
Knowing what the law says regarding retrenched employees and reemployment will help ensure you avoid unfair labour practice disputes.