Retrenchments 101: What you need to know about the Section 189(3) notice

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 11 Aug. 2014

Tags: retrenching, retrenchments, section 189(3) notice, section 189(3) notice and retrenchments

Retrenchment is a unique and complicated process.

It’s unique because it’s the only form of dismissal where you don’t end your employment relationship with your staff because they’ve done something wrong or aren’t performing properly. But you end it because of operational reasons.

It’s complicated because of the many steps you must follow. One of these steps involves issuing the Section 189(3) notice.

Read on to find out what a Section 189(3) notice is so you can ensure retrenchment is procedurally fair and avoid being taken to the CCMA or labour Court for unfair dismissal.

******* Recommended Product *******

Get instant samples, templates and checklists to make sure you’re implementing labour laws and practices with these free reports

Do you know:

  • These little known ways to reduce absenteeism?
  • Your employees aren’t automatically entitled to a bonus?
  • How to get rid of that employee who’s not performing?
  • How to solve 40 labour problems that drive other people nuts?
  • All the policies to hire, fire and manage your employees?

Find out now with the five reports you’ll get when you sign up to the Labour Law for Managers Subscription Service. Sign up today.


The link between the Section 189(3) notice and retrenchment

When you want to retrench, you must consult with the employees you’ll be retrenching or their representatives to attempt to reach consensus.

This is where the Section 189(3) notice comes in.

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) says you must issue a written notice inviting the other party to consult. This notice is known as the Section 189(3).

It’s called the Section 189(3) because that’s the section that describes what should go into the notice. In your Section 189(3), you must disclose relevant information that’ll help the other consulting party to engage with you in the consultation process.

In fact, the LRA says that your Section 189(3) notice must at least cover the following things…

******* Best seller ********
Will your company’s HR Policies and Procedures hold up in court?

Don’t wait for a CCMA dispute to discover your company doesn’t have a leg to stand on!

Get your hands on the 50 documents Part-Time CCMA Commissioner Barney Jordaan believes you can’t run a company without…



When it comes to retrenchments, your Section 189(3) notice must contain these things

  • The reasons you want to retrench.
  • The alternatives you considered before proposing retrenchment and the reasons for rejecting each of those alternatives.
  • The number of employees the retrenchment will affect and their job categories.
  • The selection criteria you propose using to select employees to retrench.
  • When retrenchments are likely to take effect (a specific date or a period of time).
  • Severance pay you propose.
  • Any assistance that you can offer to employees you’ll retrench.
  • The possibility of future re -employment of retrenched employees.
  • The number of employees you employ.
  • The number of employees you’ve retrenched in the last 12 months.

That’s all there is to your Section 189(3) notice. You must get this part of the retrenchment process right to ensure retrenchment is procedurally fair.

Related articles:



45454.hyt 2017-10-30 11:38:26


amos 2017-08-18 09:34:08

we were forced to sign voluntary retrenchment and they showed us we are going to get 16 ooo rands but now the money is not what was promised. we never had a representation nor union to negotiate. we were just told we are getting retrenched. i want to know whether i will have a case at the ccma if i take my former employer for unfair dismissal.


RSS Facebook Share the experience
Labour and HR Club
  • CCMA
  • Discipline
  • Dismissals
  • Employment Equity
  • Employment terms and conditions
  • Foreigners
  • Laws / Acts / DoL
  • Leave
  • Performance management
  • Policies and procedures
  • Recruitment
  • Trade unions
Our experts
Nichola Wainwright
Ulrich Stander Janine Nieuwoudt Roxanne Segers Johria van den Bergh Marleen Potgieter Kirstin van Bever Donker
A staff member asked to take leave for three weeks in 6 months time to visit his elderly mother in Australia. This was...[read more]
Published at 26 Jan. 2018 1 answer
Published at 11 Jan. 2018 1 answer
Hi, I work 5 hours a day (8am to 1pm). Am I entitled to any sort of break?[read more]
Published at 16 Jan. 2018 1 answer
Good morning, Kindly confirm if the below constitute for family responsibility leave please. I fell ill two days...[read more]
Published at 08 Jan. 2018 1 answer
My domestic worker told me she is pregnant, she will be working for me for about 2 years now and we have not registered...[read more]
Published at 06 Feb. 2018 1 answer
Video Archive Video club
Your library of Free eReports
View full library