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When does retrenchment become an option?

Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act provides for the dismissal of employees based on ‘operational requirements’. The Labour Relations Acts defines ‘operational requirements’ as the ’requirements based on the economic, technological, structural or similar needs of an employer’. Section 189 has specific steps an employer is required to follow, many of which require consultation with impacted employees and considering alternatives. If an employer chooses this route, they must get legal advice as non-compliance with these obligations can have severe consequences.

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