What To Do If You Get Retrenched


The lockdown in South Africa has caused many businesses to either shut their doors or downsize. If you’ve been retrenched as a result, here’s some advice to help you and your future.

Stay calm

If you are retrenched or think that there is indeed a chance your company will be retrenching and you’ll lose your job, make sure that you stay calm. Panicking will only cloud your thinking and hinder your progress. If you keep a clear head, you can act quickly and start searching for a new job. You can also seek advice and make decisions about your future. Being retrenched doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. Often, it is a doorway into something new.

Be smart about using your savings

Your “rainy day” savings were meant for times like these. Now that you need it, you must use it in the best way possible. If your money is in a bank account, you may want to begin the process of accessing it.

Use your savings smartly while you search for a new job
Use your savings smartly while you search for a new job at freerecruit.co.za

Go over your budget

Budgeting is even more important now. So be ruthless and precise with how you spread your money. Re-evaluate every line item on your list of expenses. Analyse what you’re paying for things like insurance and medical aid. Look at if you can get a better deal with the same or similar cover. When you’re going over your budget, remember that this is necessary to get through this tough time, but it won’t last forever.

Know your rights

It’s easy to get lost in the labour laws and conditions of employment. If you aren’t sure about what your rights are and how to exercise them, get advice from someone who does. The retrenchment procedure is set out in the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. It will give you clear guidance on what has to be included when calculating your severance package. Your employer has a responsibility to ensure that they have met all the necessary legal requirements during the retrenchment process. They also have to make sure that all benefits due are paid to you, including severance pay, leave, notice pay, pro-rata share of any bonuses, commission and retirement fund benefits. Your employer must also provide you with all the necessary forms and documents so that you can register your UIF claim. This includes a Section 189 letter, certificate of service and settlement agreement.

Legally you are entitled to one week’s pay for every year you’ve been employed at the company. However, some employment contracts include retrenchment policies so check your contract. If you need legal advice, get it. Knowledge is power, especially in this instance.

Register your UIF claim

Check your latest salary slip to ensure that you have been contributing to UIF and that your monthly contributions are correctly reflected. Provided your employer has issued a Section 189 letter, you will be able to claim your unemployment benefits. Do this as soon as possible by going to https://www.ufiling.co.za/uif/unemployment-benefits and logging your online claim. To find out more about this process and to download the required documents, visit www.labour.gov.za.

Protect your severance pay and retirement benefits

Make sure that you guard the money you receive. You don’t know when you will secure a stable income, so put together a financial plan. If you can, get a financial advisor to assist you. They can help guide you and put a realistic plan in place.

Leave on a good note

Retrenchment is tough. Not only on the person being retrenched, but also the employer. No one wants to retrench their staff, so don’t take it personally. Keep a good relationship with your employer and colleagues. You never know when you may cross paths again.

Two men shaking hands after finding a job at freerecruit.co.za
Don’t burn your bridges

Make sure you get references

These will indeed stand you in good stead when you’re searching for jobs. Make sure you get them from your employer, colleagues, clients or even service providers. A good reference letter looks good on your CV and will definitely help it stand out.

Talks to your loan providers

If you have a loan, bond or other creditor, speak to them about your situation. They will be more sympathetic if you approach them first, rather than letting your instalments bounce. Be proactive and find out what arrangements can be made. Some loans have credit life insurance attached to them so find out. This is designed to cover the value of your debt in the event of your death, retrenchment or if you are unable to pay back the loan.

Keep your CV up to date and apply for vacancies

Start looking for a new job immediately. The sooner you get back out there, the sooner you can start working. At Freerecruit.co.za we have the latest job postings. Just click here https://www.freerecruit.co.za/

Make sure your CV is updated and that you write cover letters for job applications. If you want your job application to be noticed, take a look at these 4 tips https://www.freerecruit.co.za/4-tips-to-get-your-job-application-noticed/

Have a look at our career advice section for more useful tips and resources.