As companies increasingly turn to retrenchments in response to pressures on their bottom line, they should beware the unintended but very real consequences that are likely to flow from a reduced staff complement, an expert warns.

Retrenchments in South African law are regulated in terms of section 189 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA).

Labour expert, Advocate Tertius Wessels from Strata-g Labour Solutions has warned that more retrenchments are on the table for South Africa’s workforce. This comes amid news that South Africa's unemployment rate increased to 27.6% in the first quarter of 2019.

Today’s uncertain market and workplace dynamics mean that employers, and their employees, have to be prepared for change.

Facing retrenchment can be a frightening experience. Its unchartered territory for most people, who end up feeling vulnerable because they’re unfamiliar with the legal processes and options.

Due to the struggling economy and pressure from the unstable labour market,
South Africa may begin to see a trend in retrenchments of mid-to-senior
management level.

You may be familiar with terms such as mass redundancies or job loss but until it happens to you, there is no way of truly understanding the difficult challenge facing many South Africans today. Here are some tips for getting back on your feet when unemployment knocks you down.

Updated legislation makes it harder for employers to retrench employees. Employees now have the choice of going to court or of going on strike in order to challenge retrenchments, but the effect of a strike could further weaken the employer?s finances and necessitate further retrenchments. Ivan Israelstam explains the factors to consider.

Being retrenched is traumatic. Not only does one have to deal with the embarrassment and panic of losing one?s job but also with the harsh reality of a future loss of income, writes Debbie Brien. Through the experience of counselling retrenched individuals and research on the topic, it has become evident to me that there is a typical cycle that retrenched individuals move through. It is not a single event that just happens.

Are you doing enough to avoid retrenchments in your company? Or do you still see retrenchments as the only way to reduce costs? Some thoughts on alternative routes to cost reduction and achieving a more efficient organisation.

Is your company contemplating reduction of staff to reduce overhead costs? If so, this is something that you probably haven?t handled for many years. Have you updated yourself on the changes to the Labour Relations Act which came into effect in 2002? We highlight some of the main points. Two cases illustrate the points and we contrast these with a well known older case.

Some sectors are suffering from the global financial slowdown and jobs are being lost. If you are faced with losing your job Andre Synman from Consumer Assist has some advice. Don't panic! Help is available.

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