Retrenchment and measures how to avoid retrenchment
Johanette Rheeder

Retrenchment is nothing but a dismissal for operational reasons, which can include a variety of reasons such as the financial decline of a business, an employer deciding to increase profits of his business or a part thereof, the introduction of new technology that results in a decline in positions or structural changes such as the transfer of a part of the business of the employer. Retrenchment is one of the three reasons accepted in the South African labour law to dismiss an employee. Retrenchment is also known as a "no fault dismissal". Due to the fact that it is in essence still a dismissal, the requirement of "fair labour practices" still applies.

Collective, Derivative or Team Misconduct?
Johanette Rheeder

Employers are sometimes faced with misconduct but no evidence to prove it as the witnesses refuse to come forward or to testify. The common law duty to act in good faith towards the employer flies out the window and the employer is faced with the difficult decision as to whether it is going to start charging witnesses for failing to report misconduct or to come forward with information and evidence. Employers in the retail industry faces huge losses to theft or industrial espionage and the guilty party or parties are never identified although many are aware of the misconduct, but they are either sharing in the proceeds or are just not prepared to come forward with information to assist the employer in identifying the thieves.

Retrenchment of single employees – The LAC has spoken on jurisdiction
Johanette Rheeder

Since 2007, the question of jurisdiction of the CCMA in a single employee retrenchment was a much argued and discussed topic. Some employers welcomed the decision of Rand Water v Bracks NO & others (2007) 28 ILJ 2310 (LC) from a tactical point of view as, in terms of this case, the single employee was deprived of the right to refer a procedural compliant for an unfair retrenchment to the CCMA, effectively forcing the down and out ex employee to consider whether the last bit of his money should be spend on attorneys or advocates on the more expensive and longer processes of the Labour Court or to abandon his procedural claim.

The effect of theft in the workplace
Johanette Rheeder

Every employer will probably, at some stage or another, be faced with theft in its workplace. Due to the fact that theft is a dishonesty offence, we dismiss those employees guilty of theft, no matter the value of the item stolen and in most cases, factors in mitigation were not enough to tip the scale away from dismissal, as honesty goes to the heart of the relationship and theft or dishonesty destroys the trust between employers and employees.

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