The short answer is, it will depend on the specific circumstances and employers should get legal advice before you consider it.
Here are some guidelines:
• You can offer reduced hours, reduced pay or voluntary unpaid leave to all of your employees in an effort to save the business until the crisis ends. If they all agree (and we have seen examples of that already), you can proceed.
• If the employees do not agree, you can offer them reduced pay as part of the formal retrenchment process which we referred to in the previous section. When this is done as part of the formal process and employees refuse to agree, our courts have held that you can unilaterally change their conditions of service to save jobs.
For more information on workforce and labour regulations, please click here.