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Thread: Retrenchment of employees

  1. #1
    Silver Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Retrenchment of employees

    I need some advice on moving shop...

    I run a small logistics company and have for the last 5 years operated in one specific area, which meant I was able to setup a yard, with a kitchen and bedrooms, where my employees (drivers and maintenance staff) sleep every night. This has been a perk of the location and not linked to their remuneration packages in any way.

    Over the last couple of years business has slowed significantly in this particular area and I moved most vehicles to other sites where the drivers do not have the luxury of sleeping quarters. They sleep in their trucks.
    I am now planning to move the last vehicles off to a new location as well. (500km away)
    My question relates to 2 specific employees (a general labourer and a driver)

    - General Labourer - He has worked for us for about 3 years. The position becomes redundant as I do not need this in the new location, so I have no choice but to retrench him. I am planning to give him the equivalent of 3 week’s pay (He does not earn a lot, so I might even end up giving him a few rand extra in cash just because I feel bad doing it…) Is this OK?

    - My biggest concern is one specific driver. He is a good worker and has been with us for 5 years. However, he is also the type of guy that would not be willing to lower his “living” standards, so I doubt whether he would be willing to move and start living in the truck like the other drivers do.
    I am not able to setup sleeping quarters in the new location as the nature of the contract means they will be in different locations at night.
    If he is not willing to move, like I anticipate, would it also be appropriate to offer him a retrenchment package? The position does not become redundant, as I still need a driver, it just moves in location.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    If even one of them belongs to a Union, you are going to pick up problems unless you follow all the correct procedures.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrichor View Post
    If he is not willing to move, like I anticipate, would it also be appropriate to offer him a retrenchment package?
    Yes, that's the way to do it.

    From a process point of view, obviously don't just assume anything and make him redundant. First have a meeting explaining the closing down of the location and the offer to place him elsewhere. Your options are he relocates to the new site, or redundancy. He may suggest any other alternatives if he can think of any. Give him at least 24 hours to come back to you with his decision or alternative proposal.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Petrichor (16-Aug-12)

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    First have a meeting explaining the closing down of the location and the offer to place him elsewhere.
    And make sure that a full record is kept of the meeting for any hiccups that might happen down the road.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Petrichor (16-Aug-12)

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    Silver Member Petrichor's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback Mike and Dave, truly appreciate it.

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    I wish my employer would give me accomodation, that is a process you should stay away from, work and home. Were you allowed to let them sleep on premises as now you could be facing other troubles. Take legal labour advice things are different in the workplace now. Protect yourself.

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