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SACU says: Telkom didn't consult properly over retrenchments! Here's how to avoid a similar situation

by , 26 May 2014
Telkom is retrenching employees.

Eye Witness News reports that the communications giant will embark on a massive restructuring programme that'll include retrenching around 1000 management staff and specialists by the end of July.

The overall programme will span three years as Telkom uses these measures to deal with fierce competition and declining profit margins.

But, unions aren't happy with the move.

In fact, the South African Communications Union (SACU) says Telkom didn't consult them properly over retrenchments. This means a strike could be on the cards.

Proof that doing proper consultations when retrenching is a crucial step you can't afford NOT to take.

If you want to avoid the backlash that Telkom is facing, make sure you do the following...


The ONLY way to seamlessly protect your business from being dragged to the CCMA every time you have an employee problem is to have a comprehensive HR Policy Manual in place.


Here's how to consult properly when retrenching employees

Consultation is the discussion with the potential retrenches (employees that you'll be retrenching) or their representatives on the proposed retrenchments.

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) says consultation must be meaningful.

By this it means you must work together with the union to reach consensus.

In fact, the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service warns that 'the courts have regularly said sham consultations aren't good enough, you can't simply go through the motions.'

When must you start consulting?

You must start consultation as soon as you consider retrenching employees.

You must invite the union in writing and give them enough information to engage with you in the consultation process.

You must also keep an open mind when it comes to consultations. It doesn't make sense to consult when your mind is already made up. You must go there to find possible alternatives to retrenchment.

But what exactly do you do during this process?


Labour Law for Managers provides quick access to comprehensive and professional advice on labour legislation.

With more than 500 pages in the original binder, Labour Law for Managers covers all aspects of employee-employer relationship, down to the smallest details.

Click here for details…


What must you consult about?

You must consult about:

  • How to avoid retrenchments.
  • How to keep the number of retrenchments as low as possible.
  • How to select employees to retrench.
  • How to help employees deal with difficulties caused by retrenchments

Check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service for more issues to consult about.

And don't forget: While you're not obliged to reach agreement before you can retrench, you must consult properly and deal with all the relevant issues. If you don't, you could find yourself in the same situation as Telkom.

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SACU says: Telkom didn't consult properly over retrenchments! Here's how to avoid a similar situation
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