What does the law say about retrenchments during COVID-19 pandemic?

13 May 2020 by Matshepo Sehloho

Labour lawyer Natasha Moni explains the legalities that go into a company letting their employees go.

With the world battling to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus by shutting down, a lot of companies are feeling the pinch during these difficult times.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa was 11,350 and there were 698 new cases and 206 people have lost their lives due to the virus.

With a lot of companies struggling during these times, what does the law say about retrenchments?

Ray White on the Eusebius McKaiser Show chats to Labour lawyer Natasha Moni to give more insight on the matter.

Retrenchments is an occupational requirement and a lawful dismissal, it is a situation where you are dismissed because of an economic downturn.

Natasha Moni, Labour lawyer

She says she foresees as lot of jobs that are redundant being lost and employers and employees need to be ready for the inevitable.

Everybody is going to try and save jobs but I believe it is inevitable as not all jobs can be saved.

Natasha Moni, Labour lawyer

The process in terms of what needs to happen when there are retrenchments is finetuned in Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

The first step in this process is that companies cannot come to you and say you are retrenched, goodbye. They need to ask whether you belong to a union or a workplace body and whether you have anyone to represent you.

Natasha Moni, Labour lawyer

Source: 702 at https://www.702.co.za/articles/383514/what-does-the-law-say-about-retrenchments-during-covid-19-pandemic