Here’s what’ll happen if Thabo disputes his retrenchment

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 15 Aug. 2014

Tags: retrenchment, ccma, retrenching

A lot of disputes arise as a result of retrenchments.

No employee wants to be out of a job. So if you dismiss Thabo not because he’s done something wrong, but because you want to cut costs, he’s bound to be unhappy and he’ll challenge his dismissal.

Our advice is you must prepare yourself for any dispute so you can deal with it effectively.

Take a look at what’ll happen if Thabo disputes his retrenchment.

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If your employee disputes his retrenchment, the following will happen

If your employee is unhappy about his retrenchment or his severance pay, he can refer a dispute to the CCMA for conciliation. If the CCMA fails to resolve the dispute, the following things could happen:

#1: If the dispute is only about severance pay, the CCMA must refer it for arbitration. If your employee is also disputing the fairness of the retrenchment, the Labour Court can also consider the issue of severance pay at the same time.

#2: If the dispute is about alleged unfair retrenchment, it must go to the Labour Court by way of a statement of case. If you receive a statement of case, you’ll need to file a reply within two weeks.

Get professional help as soon as you receive one so you can defend your case properly.

#3: If you retrenched only one person, that person has the option to refer a dispute for arbitration by the CCMA after conciliation fails instead of going to the Labour Court.

If, for example, a single employee refers a retrenchment dispute to arbitration by the CCMA, but he wasn’t the only employee retrenched at the time, you can argue the technical point that the CCMA can’t deal with the matter and that it must go to the Labour Court.

If you’re happy for the CCMA to deal with the case, you can agree to this with your employee, but record your agreement in writing.

Knowing what’ll happen if your employee disputes retrenchment can help ensure you prepare thoroughly to defend your case.

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