ARE you being harassed by a bargaining council that expects you to pay big-business remuneration packages to your staff and survive in business at the same time? It seems that your best chance to succeed with an application for exemption is to threaten retrenchment of your staff. The exemption policies of bargaining councils seems to be chaotic and ad hoc. Yet the thing they seem to fear the most is retrenchment, and they may consider exempting you if you are about to cut down on your number of workers. But like any effective threat, you need to be ready to implement it. Study the possibility of retrenching staff and outsourcing some of your functions to another business. Keep in mind that retrenchment is a legal process that has to go hand-in-hand with worker consultation.